AUTOTRADER now triumphantly boasts a silver key as South Africa’s leading online marketplace for buyers and sellers, celebrating 25 years in business.
“It has been exhilarating – a success story positioning AutoTrader as a market leader, but one that could never have been achieved without the support of our buyers and sellers,” AutoTrader CEO George Mienie says.
The journey began in April 1992 when the innovative inaugural edition of AutoTrader publication hit the streets as a 24-page magazine costing only 50c. Six years later, the business began shifting towards a fully digital offering with the www.autotrader.co.za website launch on October 5, 1998.
Today the online platform receives over 5 million monthly visits with car shoppers searching more than 70 000 vehicles on mobile, tablet, desktop devices and apps. Employing 160 people, AutoTrader has offices in the three major cities and services over 70% of South African dealerships.
The iconic print publication was closed down earlier this year as the business moved in to an exclusive website only service offering. The move ushered in another chapter with a host of South African industry firsts under the belt. In 2011 the company developed digital dealer tools, managing online advertising performance and tracking consumers’ migration from print to digital.
Two years later saw the mobile apps developed for Android and iOS, while the vehicle history check went live in 2014 to provide customers access to historical information on potential purchases.
The AutoTrader Marketplace launched earlier this year, solving the safety, security and financing issues associated with private transactions.
“AutoTrader has led digital marketing for buying and selling cars. The bulk of the innovative products and services are local market firsts – like a fully mobile responsive website; functions enabling customers to compare new car prices when AutoTrader shifted into new car sales; and AutoFuzion that assists dealers to appraise, price, merchandise and syndicate inventory correctly – services that have benefited dealers and consumers alike over the past 25 years,” Mienie concludes.