, March 2, 2007 – Hearst Corporation announced the acquisition of private technology company Veretech, LLC, which operates one of the most successful online vehicle trade-in and sales lead generation applications now used by more than 2,000 consumer retail Web sites, manufacturer sites and Web portals. Veretech’s products are offered under the Intelliprice and Black Book Online brands through licenses with major automobile manufacturers, including General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Kia and Suzuki. (Black Book is operated by National Auto Research, also owned by Hearst.)
The announcement was made by Victor F. Ganzi, president & CEO of Hearst Corporation, and Richard P. Malloch, president of Hearst Business Media. Veretech, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hearst Business Media, will continue to be based in Boca Raton, Florida. All employees of the company will remain with Hearst.
Commenting on the acquisition, Ganzi said: “Veretech is the clear leader in providing automotive shoppers with an instant and accurate trade-in value range for their current vehicle and in providing dealerships with high-quality sales leads for customers. We see opportunities to further leverage the Intelliprice application across Hearst, including at our newspapers, and see great revenue potential ahead.”
Malloch said: “While Veretech has already captured some of the largest automotive manufacturers in the U.S., we believe growth exists with those that remain, as well as at the automotive portals and dealer Web sites. I welcome all the employees of Veretech to Hearst, especially Mike McFall, president; Art DeLaurer, COO; and Bardo Peterson, vice president of OEM sales. We look forward to working with you to expand the Intelliprice and Black Book Online brands.”
According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, 51 percent of new car purchasers had used the Internet to gather information about the purchase or lease of their most recent vehicles. Of those respondents, 40% said the reason for searching on the Internet was to compare and check prices.