IMotors.com has kicked off a $10 million, six-month ad campaign in California. The campaign, on TV, radio and in newspapers, carries the tag line 'You've never bought a used car like this.'
Visitors to iMotors.com request the model, make, options and even color of the vehicle. The company searches for, buys and reconditions the vehicle, which customers pick up at a local delivery center.
The service began in San Francisco in September and expanded to Southern California last month. An assault on the East Coast is planned for early next year, said Rob Erlichman, vice president of marketing.
Two TV spots feature real-life mechanics saying they'd rather work on cars than play chess or have a girlfriend. Another spot shows inspectors checking off the features of a car, while a fourth talks about one man's search for a 'pearl white' car to match everything else he owned.
IMotors.com takes a cut of the price it charges consumers but claims to still charge much less than traditional dealers because it does not carry inventory. IMotors.com buys some vehicles from dealers.
In other developments:
Autos123.com, which started last week, bills itself as the first Spanish language Internet guide for new and used vehicles throughout Latin America. Users can search databases of new and used cars. They also can calculate loan payments.
'Ultimately, Autos123.com will become the one-stop shop for all of our customers' automotive needs, anywhere from vehicle listings to recommended dealerships to posting their own vehicle for sale on the site,' said Omar Arab, executive manager of Autos123.com. The company is based in Miami and has an office in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Alice Z. Cueneo and Jean Halliday of Advertising Age contributed to this column