First-of-its-Kind to Integrate Both New and Used Inventories on One Site

FordDirect, the joint venture between participating Ford dealers and Ford Motor Company today announced that it has selected AutoTrader.com to power FordDirect.com's Used Vehicle Search Platform.

FordDirect's selection of AutoTrader.com will enable the typical participating dealer to at least double the volume of online offerings from what is now available. Customers will see the dealers' inventories expanded beyond the new Ford vehicles already online to include used cars and trucks available for retail sale.

These used vehicles will also be made available on AutoTrader.com, which will expand the online reach of each FordDirect dealer who chooses to participate in the new service. AutoTrader.com generates 5 million unique visitors a month.

FordDirect will also be linked directly into AutoTrader.com's New Car Marketplace, which will allow customers to locate and make selections from the new car and truck inventories of participating FordDirect dealers.

"This is an enormous breakthrough for Ford dealers," said Devon Cohen, CEO of FordDirect. "With AutoTrader.com, FordDirect has not only joined with the best in the business, but we have also quickly and effectively expanded our reach into the all-important used car market. With 40-45 million used car sales a year in the U.S., the potential is huge," Mr. Cohen said.

FordDirect customers will see the present selection of new Ford cars and trucks expanded to include the used car and truck offerings of participating dealers.

New-vehicle shoppers on AutoTrader.com can select from the same offering as a FordDirect customer, while used-vehicle shoppers will see their access expanded to include the inventories of participating FordDirect dealers.

"Ford cars and trucks are among the top searched vehicles on AutoTrader.com," said Chip Perry, president and CEO of AutoTrader.com. "Our partnership with FordDirect will be an excellent way to enhance our new car marketplace with one of the most popular brands that consumers are requesting, as well as supporting FordDirect dealers by having their used car inventories available on both FordDirect and AutoTrader.com. It's a win-win situation, providing an entirely new dimension to both sites, with greater selection of new and used vehicles."

AutoTrader.com will maintain the used car inventories and supply technology to the venture, allowing all Ford dealers to participate in FordDirect's used car program.

"We chose to partner with AutoTrader.com because of a proven track record among dealers and consumers,” Mr. Cohen said. "This partnership provides Ford dealers with added exposure and sales leads from AutoTrader.com's far-reaching monthly user base. Just as important, it will generate even more traffic to FordDirect because used car sales are a significant portion of every dealer's business," he added.

AutoTrader.com receives more than 5 million unique monthly visitors, conducting more than 2.5 million monthly searches for Ford cars and trucks.

FordDirect now operates in 21 states, which taken together, represent more than 70 percent of Ford Division's total new car and truck sales volume in the U.S. A national roll-out is under way and is expected to be completed in 2002.