Press release

Auto Trader sees record new car audience levels and lead volumes ahead of September plate change

Highlighting the opportunity available to retailers preparing for what the industry hopes will be a strong September, Auto Trader is reporting record new car audience levels and lead volumes on its marketplace. Tuesday 18th August marked the highest ever number of new car leads sent to retailers in one day: 69% more than the daily average recorded during the last week of February, ahead of the March number plate change.

The huge consumer demand seen in July - a record 64.4 million cross platform visits - has continued into August, with 28.6% more visits to Auto Trader platforms than at the same time last year[1].  A similar picture can be seen in new car activity, with a record circa 1.5 million unique users viewing one of the 53,000 brand new vehicles advertised on its marketplace in July, marking a 43% increase on the same period last year. The increased traffic resulted in a record number of new car leads being sent to the circa 2,000 franchise retailers advertising new car stock on Auto Trader in a single month, increasing 173% year-on-year.

To build excitement around the 70s plate change and raise awareness of the new car deals available, Auto Trader has launched a new multi-channel marketing campaign. ‘The 70s are back’ campaign will see creative content promoted across Auto Trader’s advertising real estate directing its record levels of audience to dedicated new car pages.

Commenting, Auto Trader’s Commercial Director, Ian Plummer, said:Whilst our metrics offer a very promising outlook, in the very specific context of 2020 a profitable September is more important than ever to all our retailer and manufacturer partners. From the beginning of the crisis, we have done all we can to support our customers, and the plate change, which represents a vital step in restoring the health of the new car market, is no exception.

“This new campaign will build on the success of our recent Retail Ready campaign, and Weekends on Dave sponsorship, and will ensure the record number of car buyers visiting our marketplace have every opportunity to see our all our partners’ highly attractive new car offers. Building on the pick-up of consumer interest and lead volumes through May and June, last month saw the very welcome news of a growing new car market for the first time in many months. And there are significant reasons to believe more growth can be found in September. Along with the reluctance of using public transport, increased savings from lockdown, attractive finance deals, PCP renewals, pent up demand and anticipation for the new 70s number plate, we believe this campaign will help deliver a strong September for our partners.”  

The 1970s themed campaign will feature social media activity targeting Auto Trader’s circa 450,000 followers across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as a series of tailored CRM emails to consumers. This will include details of the 70s plate change, as well as ‘don’t miss out’ announcements featuring the latest new car and leasing deals. What’s more, the campaign will be further complemented with paid search activity and PR targeting national media.

[1] Auto Trader internal analysis of advertised stock, July 2020 vs July 2019 and comparing 17th August – 23rd August 2020 vs 17th August – 23rd August 2019 (inclusive).

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