Globe and Mail hounds online auto sales

Used car site makes a splashy touchdown in a desirable online market.

Well timed with the nation’s migration from new cars for all to making do with less, used car website launched this month in partnership with the Globe and Mail, and aims to give dealers a new national opportunity to move inventory.

The site, which currently has about 15,000 listings – mostly in Ontario – is expanding to the rest of Canada ‘rapidly,’ according to Greg Gilpin, VP marketing, Autohound.

Autohound’s multimedia advertising campaign by Toronto-based Naked kicked off with a spot on the Canadian Super Bowl broadcast. As a partner in the project that has been in development for about a year, the Globe and Mail handled media planning, and plays a key role in its marketing. ‘You will continue to see full-page banner ads within the print media on their online spaces, and on [CTVglobemedia's] television properties,’ Gilpin tells MiC.

In terms of the site’s USP, a clean search engine and a full guarantee on the product is what makes Autohound different from its main competitor, according to Gilpin. The site opted for a relatively clutter-free design; Autohound wants the primary focus to be the search tool – not distracting banner ads, says Gilpin. ‘If you’ve got flash all over the place and 2.9% financing exploding all over the screen, it’s very confusing,’ says Gilpin. However, display ads do have some parking spots on the online lot, such as Mercedes-Benz’s certified pre-owned inventory banner ad, currently anchoring the homepage.

Rates for dealers who want to advertise their product range from $200 to $600 per week, depending on the number of vehicles. Boost Motors, an inventory management company that formats listings, is also an Autohound partner.