AutoNation names R. L. Polk & Co. to manage customer prospecting activities

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R. L. Polk & Co. has been selected to manage customer prospecting activities for AutoNation and its 257 dealerships in 17 states.

By using Polk's predictive modeling expertise, the agreement will provide AutoNation with a centralized source of highly qualified prospects, according to R. L. Polk & Co., an automotive information and marketing solutions provider based in Southland, MI. Creating a direct link between AutoNation and Polk will streamline the automotive retailer's marketing efforts and increase return on investment for its dealerships.

Fort Lauderdale, FL-based AutoNation said that by centralizing its customer prospecting activities with Polk, it will increase the quality of customer leads, while at the same time, reduce overall marketing costs. In addition, the company is anticipating a positive reaction from its dealerships as they expect to save marketing money and increase high-quality leads.

The company also stressed that individual dealerships will still maintain creative control and the ability to work with local agencies on traffic building opportunities, but that they will be starting with a better foundation for success with the information provided by Polk.

Polk combines demographic, lifestyle and automotive information with statistical modeling to help automotive retailers and manufacturers predict who is in the market for a vehicle, what they are likely to purchase and how much they are willing to spend. This helps increase marketing efficiency by identifying prospects much more likely to result in a vehicle sale.

In other news, Polk has purchased Automotive Information Center, the price and specification business of Irvine, CA-based Autobytel.

Through this acquisition, Polk will strengthen its platform for growth within the price and specification sector by adding key North American market planning information to its expanding global network of resources. Under the terms of the deal, Autobytel received license to use AIC data with its Internet business, including consumer sites such as Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com, CarSmart.com, and Car.com.

Autobytel announced recently that it was exploring strategic alternatives for AIC as part of the company's focus on its Internet and media centric strategy. In addition, this investment is a strategic building block that will expand Polk's customer offerings worldwide and build on the company's industry-leading data analysis capabilities. Following the acquisition and integration of AIC's price and specification business, Polk customers will ultimately have access to a market-planning product that changes the way automakers view and use this information. Once complete, Polk will offer solutions to customers that allow them to comprehensively assess the global automotive market.

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