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Cars.com has closed the acquisition of DealerRater, which is the industry’s largest automotive consumer review website. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS TO CHIP GRUETER AND HIS FAMILY! Chip is the founder and (now previous) owner of DealerRater.com and over the years I have had the good fortune of working directly with Chip and his team, as well as meeting with Chip on many occasions for business dinners, team meetings and more. On one particular rainy evening in Providence, Rhode Island, Bill Reilly and I had dinner with Chip and a few of his key managers at a nice Italian Restaurant. Chip was seated next to me, so I asked him in a low key way "what do you want to do with DealerRater in the future?" He kind of smiled slightly and said "sell the company for billions of dollars". Despite the undisclosed purchase terms, I am fairly certain that Chip's price quote to sell the company that he gave me that night at dinner was negotiable. Well Done Mr. Grueter! I love seeing success stories like you and DealerRater... AND, as I am certain you can appreciate, I feel like I helped a little bit along the way.
According to Alex Vetter, president and CEO of Cars.com, the acquisition of DealerRater positions Cars.com as the “leader in online automotive reviews and the preeminent authority for car shoppers and owners on what to buy, where to buy and who to buy from.”
With the help of web designers at String Automotive in Boston, Massachusetts, Cars.com developed and launched its own proprietary online car dealer reviews feature in 2011. The unique design was lauded by many, and Cars.com has been recognized for its transparency in the way it generates consumer feedback. The company says that the addition of DealerRater and its review database strengthens the value Cars.com brings to automotive consumers that buy new or used cars and shop for service.
“DealerRater is uniquely positioned to lead the industry transition to finding not only the right dealer, but connecting consumers with the right person at the right dealer,” says Gary Tucker, CEO of Dealer Rater.
Cars.com serves the auto industry as an unbiased intermediary on behalf of both consumers and dealers. Its research and shopping tools, as well as its editorial content, helps car shoppers across the country with their decision-making process. The company also connects local dealers with ready-to-buy shoppers and provides them with digital marketing expertise.
Shown below is a photo of Chip Grueter (DealerRater) and Chris Saraceno (Kelly Auto Group)