Car and Driver Debuts Biggest Redesign of Its Magazine in 20 Years, Expands Its Website and Launches a New Mobile Service to Target In-Market Buyers as Well as Enthusiasts

Nov 09, 2006, 00:00 ET from Car and Driver

    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." will feature previously-unpublished editors' test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 ( 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, 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"
       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."
     * -- "Virtual Test Drive" 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

SOURCE Car and Driver