The Daily Telegraph, which is to sponsor the Birmingham Motor Show
for the third time, claims to have over-taken The Sunday Times in terms
of classified motor advertising volume. It claims to have 45.5 per cent
of the market compared with The Sunday Times’ 42.3 per cent.
The Telegraph’s Saturday Motoring supplement, which was redesigned last
October and given more of a lifestyle flavour, has increased from 12 to
However, much of the volume increase has been achieved through a
low-yield policy. As a result, The Telegraph’s classified motor revenue
for last year (pounds 5.3 million) is dwarfed by The Sunday Times, which
is expecting to achieve pounds 10.7 million in its current financial
year, which ends on 30 June.
This would represent a 5 per cent year-on-year revenue increase with a 3
per cent volume increase.
John Trickett, classified ad director for The Times and The Sunday
Times, said: ’We haven’t noticed any effect from internet sites. The
trade uses them a lot but our readers don’t appear to. But we are
keeping an eye on them.’
The Telegraph’s classified ad manager Steve Playford agreed that the
used car market was buoyant. He claimed that people were buying nearly
new cars at good prices as there was an expectation that new car prices
would soon come down.
Playford admitted that he had booked a great deal of heavily discounted
ads but insisted that The Telegraph had a valuable motoring franchise,
with 806,000 of the newspaper’s readers buying used cars in the last two
years, spending pounds 8.6 billion.
Trickett retorted: ’Given the amount of investment in producing their
section, I’d be pretty disappointed with the return.’