On the anniversary of its first decade, AutoScout24 looks back on one of the few European success stories on the internet. Today, Europe’s large online car market is present in 13 countries and lists about 1.6 million vehicles in its database. Nominated as the “Best Brand 2008” among car markets by auto motor und sport readers a short while ago, the company wants to continue to improve its range for private users and professional car traders in the coming months. A graphical location display, advertising with up to 15 photos and clearly improved search functions are already available at www.autoscout24.de – further innovations are set to follow. Even in terms of internationalisation, the Munich residents are accelerating things: in March, AutoScout24 started its used car search in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.
AutoScout24 is a partner in all things to do with online vehicle marketing for car manufacturers and traders: the company passes on its substantiated knowledge, for example, in the AutoScout24 Academy, making it possible for the trade to market their new and used cars more professionally using the internet. About 35,000 traders from all over Europe currently use the online car market provided by AutoScout24.
The success story started in 1998 in Munich, initially under the name of MasterCar. With a start-up capital of half a million Deutschmarks, Dr. Nicola Carbonari, today’s CEO of AutoScout24, and today’s COO Dr. Nikolas Deskovic realised their vision of bring car trade to the internet – despite all the sceptics. Many potential investors believed that this new medium of the internet only had low chances of survival in the future. What happened then is history: while many internet start-ups had to retreat from the market after the “dot.com bubble” burst, AutoScout24 began its meteoric rise, and from the vision came Europe’s large car portal. In 2002, the company began to break even.
“We wanted to show that a new, fast medium is a real advance when searching and finding cars, saves consumers time and money and opens up a new channel for dealers to find customers,” says Dr. Nicola Carbonari.
From the very beginning, AutoScout24 set its sights on expansion and internationalisation. In the founding year, the first international subsidiary was set up in Italy. In 2007, the organisation’s internationalisation took place under the umbrella of AutoScout24 GmbH. A pan-European relaunch meant that AutoScout24 now appears with a standardised website in all countries. In Germany alone, the company is currently recording about 4.6 million users per month (ACTA 2007).
An Overview of the Milestones