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Auto Trader scraps print edition as group completes digital-only transition

By William Turvill

The last print edition of Auto Trader is set to be published next month as Trader Media Group completes its digital transition.

The group also announced that Top Marques, Truck and Plant, Van Trader and Farm Trader are to go digital-only.

Autotrader.co.uk claims to be “the number one digital marketplace in the UK for buying and selling new and used vehicles” with more than 380,000 used vehicles available on the site.

The last print edition will be published on 28 June.

According to Trader Media Group, Auto Trader’s print circulation in March this year was 27,000 compared with 368,000 at its peak in January 2000.

Meanwhile, it said use of Auto Trader gone up by 67 per cent year on year overall, with tablet use up by 130 per cant and desktop use up by 13 per cent.

The group claimed the website gets 11m unique website visitors a month and that more than 3.5m access its mobile site.

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Elsewhere, the group is also set to launch a new mobile service allowing people to sell their car with their smartphone. Autotrader.co.uk has also launched an interactive digital magazine, Ignition.

Zillah Byng Maddick, interim chief executive at Trader Media Group, said: “Trader Media Group’s magazines have played a key role in the Group’s 36 year heritage and we are very proud of the market position our brands have achieved during that period.

“With a marked shift by consumers and dealers to online platforms as a means of accessing information and buying and selling vehicles, we continue to innovate to ensure that we offer them the products and services they require through their channels of choice.”

Trader Media Group is jointly owned by Guardian Media Group and investment firm Apax. 

It has been one of the few success stories in terms of a traditional print media company which has successfully made the transition to digital without reducing the size of the business.

In the year to April 2012 it reported turnover up 1 per cent year on year to £257.2m and digital revenue up 11 per cent to £202m. The EBITDA profit figure was up 10 per cent year on year to £142.9m.

 

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