Auto Trader set to expand web sales force

Auto Trader plans to rapidly accelerate its online operation and expand its sales force, following the merger of Guardian Media Group and BC Partners.

Auto Trader plans to rapidly accelerate its online operation and

expand its sales force, following the merger of Guardian Media Group and

BC Partners.



Auto Trader was previously split into regional franchises, owned

separately by the two partners.



The combined Trader Media Group plans to rationalise the divisions and

management structure but has guaranteed the jobs of the 1,400 sales

staff.



Of these, 70 sell nationally across all the group’s publications and are

employed by a separate company called Auto Trader National Sales.



The remaining sales people sell the individual local editions of Auto

Trader and spin-offs such as Bike Trader, Truck Trader, Top Marques and

Auto Freeway - more than 70 titles in total.



John Harris, publishing and printing CEO of Trader Media Group UK, said

the print and online versions of Auto Trader would continue to be sold

separately.



Harris stressed any staff who lose their positions in the

rationalisation would be reemployed in Auto Trader’s new-media

operation.’We will be investing in our new-media infrastructure and

employing new people,’ he said.



Harris revealed that a managing director was being sought for the online

division. The successful candidate would then assess the need for an

online sales director.



He explained: ’We already have talent in that area but the new managing

director will look at the strength of those resources. The jury is still

out on the need to recruit from outside.’



Autotrader.co.uk claims to be the leading automotive website in the

UK.



Last month it received 16.8 million page impressions, making it the

ninth most visited retail website.



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