Chip Perry Set to Leave AutoTrader May 1st

Driving Sales - March 25, 2013

Hav­ing been the first employ­ee at Auto­Trad­er, which now owns Kel­ley Blue Book, vAu­to, Home­Net and Vin­So­lu­tions as well, Chip Per­ry will be missed

Find out more about the man behind Auto­Trad­er.

Chip Per­ry will be replaced by Sandy Schwartz as the head of Auto­Trad­er Group, effec­tive May 1. Schwartz will also retain his posi­tion as the leader of Man­heim, giv­ing him con­trol of all the Auto­mo­tive units with­in Cox Enter­pris­es. The offi­cial release was com­ple­men­tary of Per­ry, but one could write a book about what he has done build­ing AutoTrader.com and the Auto­Trad­er Group over the past 16 years.

Chip Per­ry was the first employ­ee of AutoTrader.com, when he was asked to cre­ate the prod­uct in 1997. Until then, auto­mo­tive Inter­net was a lead gen­er­a­tion busi­ness, pio­neered by Auto­by­tel. Chip had the fore­sight to know that pen­e­tra­tion would be the key. The rela­tion­ship with Man­heim was lever­aged to quick­ly get thou­sands of vehi­cles up online. Under Chip’s lead­er­ship, AutoTrader.com nev­er gave up its lead­er­ship role in this space.

In recent years, AutoTrader.com has bal­looned into Auto­Trad­er Group, with acqui­si­tions like vAu­to, Vin­So­lu­tions, and Home­Net. Some deal­ers feel they pay too much for AutoTrader.com, but there is no deny­ing the major­i­ty of fran­chised deal­ers use the prod­uct. What­ev­er you feel about Auto­Trad­er Group and Chip Per­ry, if you met the man even once, you felt his ener­gy and have a sto­ry to tell.

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