It took longer than he would have liked, but Cars.com President Mitch Golub has added an online new-car sales lead generator, with the acquisition of NewCars.com.

Started in 1996, NewCars.com is a new-vehicle sales and lead generator that primarily wholesales Internet leads to other third-party lead providers and manufacturers. Only in the last six months has the company turned its attention to the dealership market, building a customer base of approximately 200 new-car dealers.

Golub has been looking to get into the new-car lead generation market for about a year. His Chicago-based firm runs one of the leading online used-vehicle classified listings sites. It has increased its revenue 35% this year.

To keep that up, Golub believes the company has to expand into the new-car-sales market. “To be a true industry leader, you have to continue to grow in this business,” he says.

While NewCars.com lacks the name recognition of other lead providers (such as Autobytel Inc., AutoUSA or the Cobalt Group's Dealix division), it has built impressive technology that has made it a player in selling leads to auto makers.

Its CPC Logic, a search-engine marketing tool, generates its own leads rather than aggregating them from other sources. And NewCars.com's lead management platform is able to qualify those leads as true in-market shoppers.

“We were attracted to the NewCars.com technology,” says Golub. “Customers are using search engines at a higher rate today to look for vehicles.”