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Cox, GoAuto link
US group forms strategic alliance with John Mellor’s GoAutoMedia
11 Feb 2015
MANHEIM Australia and New Zealand, the Australasian arm of Cox Enterprises, one of America’s largest media, entertainment and telecommunications companies and owner of the world’s largest automotive services company, has established a strategic alliance with John Mellor’s GoAutoMedia company.
The unique advertising and equity arrangement is designed to back new initiatives by GoAutoMedia to generate more complete coverage of the retail car industry and the wider motor trade – the biggest retail sector of the economy.
The family-owned Cox group generates $16 billion in revenue a year. Under the alliance, its Australian arm, Manheim Australia and New Zealand, will have a representative on the GoAutoMedia board.
The outgoing CEO of Manheim Asia-Pacific, Tim Hudson, who worked with GoAutoMedia to broker the arrangement, said: “John Mellor shared with us his vision for upgrading GoAutoMedia’s business and management coverage of this vital industry and, as a major automotive services company worldwide, we wanted to take a leading role in ensuring GoAutoMedia has the resources to carry out John’s vision.
From top: Outgoing Manheim Asia-Pacific CEO Tim Hudson, Manheim Australia and New Zealand managing director Campbell Jones and GoAutoMedia publisher John Mellor.
“This is a very timely initiative as the car industry transforms from local manufacturing to full imports. This will see a flood of new players in this market, especially from Asia, and the implications of this will flow right through the industry from the new car showrooms to remarketing, repairs and maintenance and recycling.
“We are entering an important time of transition for the 100,000 businesses and 310,000 people who work in this $200 billion sector of the Australian economy,” said Mr Hudson, who returns to the UK in February to run Manheim’s extensive remarketing activities there.
The new managing director of Manheim Australia and New Zealand, Campbell Jones, said that Manheim locally was hooking into a wide-ranging portfolio of automotive services, products and systems which have been developed for the company’s operations worldwide, and the alliance with GoAutoMedia would ensure these initiatives would become well known within the industry.
“Manheim internationally takes a position as thought leader in the various markets in which we operate and we see our link with GoAutoMedia as a way of elevating our reputation as an industry leader in this market,” Mr Jones said.
“John Mellor’s GoAuto newsroom team has an unmatched reputation in the Australian car industry for strong fact-based reporting. Its weekly industry newsletter is highly regarded as the motor industry bible and its consumer website is ripe for GoAuto.com.au’s plans for innovative coverage and reader services.”
Cox Enterprises is a well-resourced, fifth-generation family enterprise and the 18th-largest privately owned company in America.
In addition to its automotive services interests, the diversified group runs newspapers, television stations, cable TV networks, telecommunications services, radio, internet, direct mail and direct marketing operations.
Cox bought Manheim as long ago as 1968 when it became attracted to the relative stability and healthy revenues that could be generated by the automotive wholesale and retail businesses. The auto business has become in part a hedge against slowing revenues in conventional publishing. Manheim contributes nearly $3 billion to Cox Enterprises from 120 locations around the world.
In 1997 Cox Enterprises took online its US-based print classified publication, Auto Trader, in which it held a half share.
The then CEO (now chairman) James Kennedy, a third-generation Cox, declared: “This internet thing is coming. If someone is going to come and take all our print classified revenue then it might as well be us.”
Autotrader.com, now wholly owned by Cox Enterprises, is the biggest online classifieds site in the US with 29 million unique readers a month generating more than $1 billion in revenue a year.
The group recently reorganised all its automotive holdings under the Cox Automotive division. It includes Manheim and other auction and remarketing houses worldwide, the leading used car price guide in the US, Kelley Blue Book, and the second largest auto classifieds website in the UK, Motors.co.uk, which it bought from the Daily Mail last year.
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