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Trade off: Auto Trader goes digital only

If you pop down to the news agents this week you might just be able to pick up a little bit of car industry history. The July edition of Auto Trader magazine went on sale on 28th June and this will be the magazine's final print edition.

If you pop down to the news agents this week you might just be able to pick up a little bit of car industry history. The July edition of Auto Trader magazine went on sale on 28th June and this will be the magazine's final print edition. In a move that reflects the current conditions across most print media, Auto Trader will be online only in the future. It would be fair to say that Auto Trader revolutionised the used car market and quickly became the dominant publication for anyone looking for a second hand car in the UK.

The title was launched in the UK as 'Thames Valley Trader' in 1977 but went national by 1995. Circulation for the magazine peaked at 368,000 in January 2000 but the growth of the Internet hit these figures hard and current readership is at around the 27,000 mark. The online version on the other hand, is thriving. The group's other titles, such as Top Marques, Truck and Plant, Van Trader and Farm Trader will soon follow suit and also go digital only. The move will see an estimated 150 staff made redundant. The final issue is a collectors' edition that features exclusive digital content, accessed by pointing a smart phone at the 'digital' wrap cover.

Interim CEO of Trader Media Group, Zillah Byng Maddick, explained the move: "Trader Media Group's magazines have played a key role in the Group's 36 year heritage and we are very proud of the market position our brands have achieved during that period. With a marked shift by consumers and dealers to online platforms as a means of accessing information and buying and selling vehicles, we continue to innovate to ensure that we offer them the products and services they require through their channels of choice."

The final edition features a top ten list of cars that were on sale when Auto Trader went on sale in 1977 and have survived along with the magazine to be still on sale today. These venerable cars are the Aston Martin Vantage, Range Rover, Ford Fiesta, Mercedes SL, Porsche 911, Jaguar XJ, VW Golf GTi, Mini, BMW 3 Series and Honda Civic.

The online version of Auto Trader currently has more than 380,000 cars for sale and the website receives more than 11 million unique visitors every month. A particular area of growth is in the use of smart phones and the company plans to launch a new mobile service to allow customers to buy and sell cars direct from their handset.
 

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