Loot launches Hot Car to take on Auto Trader

Loot is taking on Auto Trader with the launch of Hot Car, its own classified advertising motoring title.

Loot is taking on Auto Trader with the launch of Hot Car, its own

classified advertising motoring title.

A six-strong dedicated display sales team is working alongside the Loot

team, and more than 30 part-time evening workers have been drafted in to

take requests for classified ads.

Loot managing director Graham Tolhurst described the launch as ’the best

laxative the Auto Trader people will have had for years’.

The weekly 100-page, full-colour magazine will be sold within the M25

area and has a cover price of pounds 1. Loot expects circulation to

settle down at 20,000.

Auto Trader’s 13 regional editions enjoy a total circulation of 326,389,

according to the latest ABCs.

Matt Thompson, group marketing director of Auto Trader commented: ’We’re

never complacent about competition, but given the scale of our

operation, we think we can handle it without difficulty.’

On 8 May, Auto Trader is launching a pounds 6 million advertising

campaign covering TV, radio and cinema. Creative is from Edinburgh

agency Faulds, which is also handling media buying.

Loot director of sales Simon George said: ’Auto Trader dominates the

market and we’ve always been nervous about taking it on. But we’ve come

up with something that is slick, good-looking and useful, with colour

photographs and an accessible layout.’

Cars are listed under specific marques and classified ads are

cross-referenced to dealers’ display ads. A classified ad with a small

photograph costs pounds 23, but customers can pay up to pounds 59 for a

king-sized photo. George said the magazine’s glossy front cover was

likely to attract a different sort of reader to Auto Trader.

’While we’re definitely in competition with it, our positioning is

slightly different. I think we’ll appeal to readers who aren’t

particularly crazy about cars but want to find the vehicle of their

choice quickly and easily.’

Auto Trader and Auto Express recently teamed up with Netscape Online to

launch a motoring channel. It includes the latest car news, plus

databases of new and used cars.

Auto Trader also runs its own website, Auto Trader Interactive, which it

describes as the biggest classified site in Europe.