Mitch Golub isn't losing any sleep over Reynolds and Reynolds Co.'s new car-search Web portal, CarLocate.com.
Golub, president of rival Cars.com, says Reynolds faces a number of challenges as it starts marketing dealer inventory to consumers over the Web. Foremost among them: a limited base of participating dealers.
Reynolds says nearly 3,500 stores have signed on to list their inventory of new and used vehicles. They sell many brands -- but all use Reynolds' dealership management systems.
Cars.com, of Chicago, runs about 2.8 million listings at any given time from 16,000 dealers. Golub says limiting the CarLocate.com database to the software company's customers "obviously leaves some weaknesses in product mix."
Getting the word out to consumers also could be a challenge, he says. "This is not a dealer business. This basically is a consumer business," says Golub.
In a statement, Nicole Case, general manager of CarLocate.com, said: "We realize there are bigger names on the Web for automobile search sites. But only CarLocate.com has the advantage of the Reynolds heritage of serving automobile dealerships and knowing what their customers want in buying a car."
Reynolds, of Dayton, Ohio, is marketing the portal using social media. As of last week, CarLocate.com had about 350 fans on Facebook and more than 200 followers on Twitter.
It also has a channel on YouTube featuring humorous ads and car-related videos.