Don't be surprised if CarsDirect.com acquires another Internet operation this year.
Though it has yet to turn a profit, the online auto-buying service, which is backed by billionaire Michael Dell, has no intention of becoming a dot-com casualty, CEO Bob Brisco says. Having just acquired competitor Greenlight.com, he says, CarsDirect.com is in a strong position with a 3,000-dealer network, new links to Amazon.com and AutoTrader.com and $100 million in cash.
'We are really dedicated to figuring it out,' Brisco says of selling autos online.
Who might be on the company's list? Brisco would only say he's looking at 'acquisitions that would add value to shareholders.'
In other dot-com news:
Trilogy Software Inc. of Austin, Texas, and Ford Motor Co. have scrapped plans to form a joint-venture Internet company to develop and operate Ford's consumer Web sites and other e-business initiatives because of unfavorable market conditions. Instead, they shifted to a strategic alliance whereby Trilogy remains Ford's primary business-to-business technology provider, said Sameer Desai, executive director of industry strategy and solutions in Trilogy's automotive division. Ford initially contemplated developing an all-makes, all-models Internet car-buying site, but decided to partner with its dealers in FordDirect.com, Desai said.
Yahoo! Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., beefed up Yahoo! Autos (autos.yahoo.com) with sticker-price information, consumer reviews, virtual tours of vehicle interiors, car comparisons and recommended maintenance intervals.
Two new features, GM Service Reminder and GM Dealer Locator, have been added to GMGoodwrench.com. Locator allows users to search dealers by service offerings, GM brand, location and/or phone number. Reminder sends e-mail reminders about routine maintenance.
National Editor Chaz Osburn can be reached at [email protected] or 313-446-1677