Auto Trader UK appoints Palmer for manufacturer relationships

30 Oct 2016

Marc Palmer started at Auto Trader, the U.K.’s leading auto site, as director for manufacturer brands in October. He was hired from Nissan Motors to cultivate and strengthen relationships with auto manufacturers.

Marc Palmer, experienced new-auto brand manager to strengthen relations with auto manufacturers (from his LinkedIn profile page with thanks)

Marc Palmer, experienced new-auto brand manager to strengthen relations with auto manufacturers (from his LinkedIn profile page with thanks)

Palmer has a long career in the U.K. auto industry, which started in 2000 at Ford, and took him to Mercedes Benz U.K. in 2006, to Hyundai Motors a few years later and finally to Nissan Motors. At Mercedes Benz U.K. he was product manager for seven models and at Hyundai and Nissan he managed the brands in the U.K..

Auto Trader aims to list every new auto ready to be ordered in the U.K.. This turns Auto Trader into a high-potential communication channel for auto manufacturers with prospective buyers. Next, Auto Trader grew the audience of prospective buyers on the site by integrating CiTNOW web-video technology in auto listings.

Palmer said these moves “open up a huge, new-auto audience for auto manufacturers”, allowing manufacturers to speak more directly to the undecided (new- or used-vehicle) buyer.

And adding web-video technology is expected to enhance the company’s digital presence, according to Chris Elvidge, managing director at Drive Vauxhall, where the CiTNOW software was piloted. Results from the pilot indicated that almost half (45 percent) of vehicles getting one or more video plays were sold. That figure dropped to below 35 percent for vehicles with no video plays.

That’s not where Auto Trader stopped with its video proposition. Videos of for-sale vehicles are automatically passed on and integrated in other websites, including the AA’s Vcars.co.uk, a site for used autos, and Motors.co.uk, thereby stretching the reach of Auto Trader’s audience.

Currently, Auto Trader claims to be listing more than 437,000 autos each day, and that 12,500 dealers advertise on the site (80 percent of all U.K. auto retailers), that the site receives on average 60 million visits per month from 11 million unique users on average, who do a total of 140 million searches on more than 400,000 new and used vehicles (source: site).

More than 3.5 million users access Auto Trader via their mobile devices every month by going to the mobile site, or using the apps (source: site).

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Ffion Llwyd-Jones