NEW YORK, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to changing consumer behavior, a dynamic marketplace and new technology, the venerable magazine brand Car and Driver, established in l955, is reinventing itself to appeal to a broader audience while still appealing to its traditional readers, the automotive enthusiasts. With the December issue on newsstands this week, Car and Driver, the world's largest car magazine, debuts its most extensive redesign for the print magazine in twenty years. Hachette has also made a significant investment in expanding the magazine brand's website adding new features in the Buyers Guide with more opportunities for advertisers. Car and Driver's website, along with new mobile phone content to be launched next month, delivers information designed to appeal to people who are preparing to purchase a vehicle and who use the web to research the nearly 400 cars and trucks on the market to make smart buying decisions. Jack Kliger, President and CEO, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. said: "Csaba and his team are viewed as the leading authorities about all things automotive, and their independent expertise is respected by consumers. Enthusiasts like to be knowledgeable about the newest models, how they are designed and how they drive. People who are getting ready to make one of their biggest purchases want advice in order to make a solid decision, and they value the third-party, unbiased tests and reviews from Car and Driver editors. Hachette invests millions of dollars in this area -- more than any other automotive magazine brand -- and now we can monetize this investment by serving a greatly expanded new audience through our various digital media." CarandDriver.com will feature previously-unpublished editors' test sheets and actual recorded performance data from the road tests, one of the most highly-valued sections in the magazine. The enhanced online Buyers Guide has useful shopping information including specs on more than three hundred and fifty 2007 vehicles with direct links to editors' road tests and reviews. The website also includes audio podcasts of the weekly Car and Driver radio programs as well as special events. Car and Driver Mobile, set to launch next month, will offer consumers automotive news, reviews, photo galleries and high performance car images on wallpaper. The service will be free-of-charge and supported by advertising. Car and Driver has also reached a licensing agreement with Yahoo Autos (autos.yahoo.com) which will carry branded content from the magazine and the website. Csaba Csere, Editor-in-Chief, Car and Driver, commented: "Our goal with this new design is to make the magazine as visually interesting and engaging as the stories we publish. To this end, we've overhauled our look from top to bottom, the biggest change in twenty years, and our coverage provides even more compelling information. "For instance, our road tests have been a Car and Driver staple for years. We put a great deal of effort into our testing activities because we believe that it is important to have a strong objective foundation to support our subjective observations. With this new design, we have made our presentation of test results more prominent and clearer than before by highlighting in yellow the information that Car and Driver editors have measured and recorded. "We moved one component of our road test from the magazine to the web -- the bar graph which compared the road-test vehicle, in five parameters with three competitors that we also tested. With more room and flexibility on CarandDriver.com, we are providing an expanded version of the bar graph for every road test. We are also, for the first time, posting our technical department's test sheets which show the actual recorded performance data as well as weather conditions during the tests and several other tidbits of useful information. These expanded road test results expand upon popular content already featured on the site such as breaking automotive news as well as daily coverage on car races and auto shows." Nick Matarazzo, EVP, Group Publishing Director, Hachette "With these new channels of distribution, we are able to broaden the audience and deliver branded content that is credible, authoritative and influential wherever, whenever and however, the consumer wants it. In addition to advertising in print, online, mobile, radio and branded events, we have created custom programs that deliver other creative ways for clients' to present their products." Two of the new custom marketing programs include: * Word of Mouth Marketing -- "Car and Driver First Drivers Club" http://firstdriversclub.com Car and Driver is the first media property to team up with Renegade Marketing Group and BzzAgent, a leading word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing company, to develop "Car and Driver First Drivers Club." The magazine offers clients the opportunity to engage Car and Driver's audience when readers sign up as part of a network to receive exclusive access to information on new products and vehicles featured in the advertiser's campaigns. Readers then spread the word on these products and report their WOM activities. The "First Drivers Club" delivers important metrics to the advertiser including NET Promoter Scores, sales-based ROI and WOM frequency and reach. "Car and Driver readers are viewed as automotive experts and as a result are incredibly influential," explains Rob Houghtlin, VP/Publisher. "They advise an average of 18 people each year on which products to purchase. Through our word-of-mouth channel we can harness that influence and more importantly, measure it. Additionally, it provides a new way for the magazine to communicate more frequently with our loyal readers and collect valuable purchase information." * CarandDriver.com -- "Virtual Test Drive" CarandDriver.com is offering clients the opportunity to sponsor a custom-produced online virtual test drive of their vehicle. Through the online virtual test drive, automotive manufacturers can engage both enthusiasts and in-market buyers with an interactive video experience online that simulates the popular Car and Driver ride and drive events. Users can first virtually explore the interior and exterior of the vehicle hearing what magazine editors think of the features. They then join well-known motor sports personality Tommy Kendall as he takes the vehicle out for a test drive pointing out key features as discussed in the magazine. The three-minute sponsored video segments provide direct links to the advertiser's site. About Car and Driver With a circulation of 1,300,000 in the U.S., Car and Driver is the world's largest, most comprehensive automotive enthusiast publication with six international editions which combine unsurpassed editorial and technical expertise with the ability to place readers in a virtual driver's seat. Car and Driver is a vibrant brand which currently offers interaction with its audience through a website, radio, mobile, podcasting and events. Over 10.5 million people read the magazine each month and more than 1 million go online for CD content. Car and Driver is available on Sirius and XM satellite radio and on Podcastgo. Also, enthusiasts interact with the brand through the ride and drive events conducted for auto manufacturers. Car and Driver is published by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. whose enthusiast brands reach over 50 million consumers in the U.S. Other Hachette brands include American Photo, Boating, Cycle World, ELLE, ELLE Decor, ELLEgirl, Flying, Home, Metropolitan Home, Popular Photography & Imaging, Premiere, Road & Track, Shock, Sound & Vision and Woman's Day. In addition to the print magazine, each brand has a digital edition and website. A number of Hachette brands have extensions in television, radio, mobile services and consumer branded events. Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc., the New York- headquartered subsidiary of Hachette Filipacchi Medias S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lagardere SCA, also includes book and custom publishing, integrated marketing, database and market research, as well as licensing. The Hachette website address is www.hfmus.com.
SOURCE Car and Driver