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Redesigned Web portal lauches

November 22, 2010
More tools to help area customers find their next vehicle await on the refashioned DriveChicago Web portal, which launched this month.

The portal, which links to the Web sites of all CATA dealer members and only CATA dealer members, is a free service that is owned and operated by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association. The CATA is attracting customers to the portal with a radio and print advertising campaign.

New features include links for customers to determine the value of their trade-in, schedule a service appointment, obtain directions to a dealership and search for updated rebates and incentives.

Kurt Schiele, chairman of the CATA board of directors' DriveChicago Committee, oversaw the redesign. "Our goal," said Shiele, "was twofold. One, we wanted to give consumers a retail site that not only helps them quickly find a car, but also helps them choose the car that is right for them. Second, we wanted to drive more traffic to CATA dealers through improved leads.

"The new is more than just a listing of new and used vehicles, it's a realistic competitor to and And ours is a free service to CATA dealers.
"And thanks to our partnerships with companies like Experian, BlackBook Online, TimeHighway, DealerSkins, and DataOne Software, DriveChicago can offer dealers valuable services and increased showroom traffic at no charge."

Mark Bilek, the CATA Internet director, said the redesign should generate more customer leads. "In the old format, there were 10 to 12 fields for customers to complete. Now there are just three," Bilek said.

DriveChicago inventory also appears on the Web sites of Clear Channel Radio, WGN Radio, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Northwest News Group.

All leads, either organic from or via syndication partners, is tracked, and dealers can upload their own images and inventories.