Cars920.com
By Mike Mathes

Finding the car or truck of your choice has never been easier, thanks to an exciting, new internet search engine launched from Eastern Wisconsin.

Launched February 1, Cars920.com is the area’s first true hyperlocal automotive search engine. Cars920.com promotes local cars and local dealers first.

As a consumer, Cars920.com puts the

entire inventory of area dealerships at your fingertips—with an incredible ability to narrow down your search. The 920 in the title comes from the phone area code that serves eastern and northeast Wisconsin.

Whether you are looking for a specific make, model, mileage, price, feature or color, one search site on the internet will allow you to comparison shop all vehicles within a given mileage radius.

Cars920.com does everything for you,

except take the test drive.

Easiest way to search

Cars920.com stresses the easiest approach possible to finding the car or truck you are looking for. By using the 1-Step Search function, all you need to do is type in the keywords that define your search.

To try a simple search, all you need to do is open a browser, go to Cars920.com and type in a couple of descriptive words in the 1-Step Search box.

Press Search Now, and you are off and running!

The search engine simultaneously scans the real-time inventory of all area dealers, and gives you a sortable list that matches your criteria.

That’s when the fun begins, as you can sort your list of cars or trucks by price, model year, dealer, mileage or distance from your location.

Kelly Winkel of Vogel Chevrolet said the site is extremely visitor-friendly. “It’s a really easy site to use to do car searches. It will be less frustrating for people than the other search sites. Many of the others are hard for people to follow and find what they want.”

Vogel Chevrolet is one of several area dealer sponsors that are supporting Cars920.com.

Winkel says the new search site will also benefit area car dealers in connecting with their patrons.

“It’s really great for us, because the consumer gets to see our entire inventory. We can only put so many vehicles in our traditional ads.”

Winkel also noted that the comparison factors built into the search will truly help consumers become better advised about their car or truck choices.

See and study your options

Once you have narrowed the search, clicking on the vehicle that interests you will take you to a separate page, where you get expansive detail about the car.

On the details pages, visitors get to see actual photos of the vehicle, but there’s a wealth of information available at your fingertips.

¦ you can print a window sticker,

¦ you can calculate payments,

¦ you can email the description to a friend,

¦ with one click you can get a free

VIN vehicle history report from CARFAX,

¦ the page will show mileage estimates for city and highway driving,

¦ you can see all the details about the vehicle and its design options,

¦ you can see the rating on a scale of 1 to 10 for new cars, and reviews written by TheCarConnection.com, and

¦ most of all, if you like what you see, the page will give you a direct number to call the dealership for more information, or an opportunity to schedule a test drive.

Other options

Visitors to Cars920.com can also find a

wealth of other information on the site.

A Dealers tab enables visitors to search for a specific dealer in their geographic area, or even beyond. From there, a single click enables them to see that dealer’s entire inventory. Again, the results can be sorted by name, mileage, year, price and distance factors.

At launch, nearly 7,000 vehicles in Eastern Wisconsin were searchable on the site, with more to come as additional Wisconsin area codes and dealers are added to the data base.

Local emphasis

Jeff Dobrunz, sales manager for the VandeHey Brantmeier General Motors store in Chilton, said one of the greatest advantages of the new Cars 920 site is its local nature. “This will give people the ability to find local inventory with instant access. They don’t have to worry sorting through inventory that might located far away,” he said. “The inventory they will see is going to be actual cars and trucks from their local dealers.”

Dobrunz said participation in Cars920.com provides many advantages for local dealers like VandeHey Brantmeier. He added, “Anytime we have an opportunity to get our cars in front of people, it’s a good thing. This gives us great flexibility to offer a virtual showroom for our customers.”

Cooperative effort

Cars920.com is a consortium effort

between Delta Publications, area car dealers and other participating media companies.

The partnering firms work through a national car search firm called Auto-ConX to power the search site.

In addition to providing the online portal for searching car inventories, the media partners are weighing in with supportive print advertising and air time to bring traffic to the site.

Joe Mathes, Vice President of Sales for Delta Publications, has been the visionary force behind the local component of this project.

“At a time when our car dealers are searching for the best way to connect with their customers, Cars920.com is an answer to their needs,” he said.

“But most of all, this is just going to be a fun site for everyone to use and visit on a regular basis. You can’t imagine a better way to shop for your next vehicle.

“We want people to use the site often as they check out the kinds of cars or trucks that might fit their needs or dreams.”

Mathes said the vision for this site will eventually include private party car sales. That option would allow individuals to sell their cars through Cars920.com, and have matching advertising in local papers.

In addition to Cars920.com, other

companion sites are being launched soon in other Wisconsin area codes, including 262, 414, 608 and 715.

All cars from all of the Cars920-related sites can will be accessible by expanding the search to a wider radius.