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Industry Press Releases

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Awards Measure Dealer Satisfaction with Vendors in 10 Categories, including CRM, Third Party Leads, SEO, and Lead Management small-trophySalt Lake City, Utah - December 1st, 2009 -- DrivingSales (www.drivingsales.com), the auto industry's leading social media platform and largest online community, today announced that the first annual DrivingSales Vendor Ratings Awards will be presented in Orlando, Florida at the 2010 NADA Convention and Expo.  The DrivingSales Vendor Ratings Awards measure dealer satisfaction with vendors in ten categories, including CRM, Third Party Leads, SEO and Lead Management, and will be awarded to the vendors who achieve the highest dealer satisfaction rankings as determined by the thousands of dealers in the DrivingSales community.  Winners will also be showcased in the premiere issue of DrivingSales Dealership Innovation Guide which, in addition to being distributed at the NADA Convention and Expo, will be delivered to every new car dealership nationwide, as well as to he top 100 used car dealerships. "DrivingSales launched its interactive Vendor Ratings feature last year with a mission to help dealers make the smartest vendor spending decisions that will provide them with the highest ROI," said DrivingSales founder and CEO Jared Hamilton.  "Dealers value the opinion of their colleagues above all else when it comes to making these critical decisions.  The Vendor Ratings Awards are a natural extension of this collaborative decision-making process, recognizing the top three vendors in each category as ranked by the thousands of dealers who use them." DrivingSales Vendor Ratings are the industry's first neutral, comprehensive vendor rating forum featuring real-time peer reviews and honest competitor comparisons - searchable by category, company or rating - and are one of the most popular features of DrivingSales.com.  DrivingSales.com opened nationally in 2008 in response to the industry's need for an open, objective collaborative forum to help the leading edge of the industry navigate through the current crisis -- and into the future. According to Hamilton, DrivingSales is already surveying the nation's dealers about their current vendor satisfaction.  Dealers are asked to rate their vendors on a 1-5 star scale, including whether they would recommend the vendor product to colleagues, and why they would or would not recommend the product.  All survey-takers are required to submit valid contact information so that DrivingSales can verify that the reviewers are actual dealership employees; however the identity of the survey takers will remain anonymous to the public.  The survey is currently deployed on DrivingSales.com and participation is open to the nation's over 20 thousand dealerships. The ten vendor categories are: Websites, CRM-Variable Ops, 3rd Party Leads, Vehicle Classifieds/Listings, Internet Lead Management Tools. DMS, Owner/Database Marketing, Inventory Pricing Tools, Inventory Data Management and SEO Services. Prestige Volvo General Manager Matt Haiken reported that DrivingSales Vendor Ratings helped with critical vendor decisions at his dealership that ultimately resulted in significant web traffic increases: "DrivingSales vendor ratings provide me with an invaluable industry reference point, on how each vendor was performing and who I should be talking to." In addition to showcasing Vendor Ratings Award winners, the premiere issue of DrivingSales Dealership Innovation Guide, an annual publication, will also feature cutting-edge and proven best practices as submitted by the DrivingSales.com community and will also be available online at DrivingSales.com. "Because of its thousands of engaged dealership members and its uniquely interactive and collaborative format, DrivingSales has a wealth of best practice information to share," said Hamilton. "We wanted to pull together 2009's top best practices in one publication to coincide with NADA, so dealers can literally carry this critical information with them -- as they 'walk the floor' at NADA -- and back home in the dealership." If you are a US new or used car dealership and would like to participate in the Dealer Satisfaction with Vendors survey (and please remember that your contact information will be verified), click the link below: http://www.drivingsales.com/surveys/rate_vendors/survey1 http://www.drivingsales.com/surveys/rate_vendors/survey2 For more information about the DrivingSales Vendor Ratings Awards and DrivingSales Dealership Innovation Guide, email melanie@mwebbcom.com. About DrivingSales DrivingSales.com (www.drivingsales.com) is the largest and premiere online community for the auto industry, where its thousands of members, including dealers, dealership managers, manufacturers, industry experts and vendors, collaborate and share best practices in a 20-group style setting. At DrivingSales, members create profiles and communicate with each other; build their networks and knowledgebase; share and rate proven strategies, and have access to relevant content contributed by fellow industry experts, including blogs, videos, interviews, a social news feed and more. Dealer members rate and review vendor products - sharing their experiences with the DrivingSales community - while vendors have the opportunity to provide feedback on reviews and showcase their products and services. DrivingSales was created and built from the ground up in 2003 by Jared Hamilton, a third generation auto dealer, as a private automotive business community to network his NADA Dealer Candidate Academy class.  The site opened nationally in 2008 and is the auto industry's leading social media custom platform. Media Contact: Melanie Webber (Melanie@mwebbcom.com), mWEBB Communications 949.307.1723

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