There is life after dot-com death.
Don't believe me? Ask former online broker CarOrder Inc. of Austin, Texas, which just resurrected its Web site, CarOrder.com.
The company had to shut down its Web site and brokering operation for lack of funds last year, and the broker concept remains deader than a doornail.
But CarOrder has found new life off-line. The company that once boasted it would revolutionize the car business using a few dealerships in key areas as distribution points for its Internet sales operation finally was able to make good on part of that dream.
It is the proud owner of two car dealerships in California.
Ironically, the company's general counsel, Jerry Ducharme, a retired Ford Motor Co. attorney, says CarOrder now is excited about bricks and mortar.
'We think this last dealership we bought has great prospects for walk-in traffic,' he says of the purchase of Los Banos Motors Inc. in Los Banos, Calif.
Jerry, you're preaching to the choir.
In other dot-com news:
StoneAge.com has launched a subprime finance company to help car dealers obtain financing for subprime customers online. The company, AutoTurnDowns.com, has 450 dealer clients and is licensed to do business in 38 states. Applications are funded within 72 hours of delivery. StoneAge.com says the approval rate is 30 percent.
AutoTrader.com, an online auto classified advertising site, has launched a free monthly electronic newsletter, CurbSide. It will give consumers tips on a variety of topics, from how to change the oil to how to select tires. The newsletter will offer advertising space to automotive dealers, manufacturers and suppliers.
Automotive Finance Corp., a company that provides wholesale financing to car dealers, and CarBiz.com Inc., an Internet software company that offers a variety of e-commerce applications for dealers, have entered an agreement to promote each other's services to their dealer clients.
You can reach Staff Reporter Donna Harris at (540) 668-7295 or [email protected]