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America Online Signs $17 Million Deal With AutoConnect

America Online Inc. signed an $17 million agreement with AutoConnect, which bills itself as the largest used car site on the Web.

AOL, AOL.com and CompuServe users will have direct access to AutoConnect's inventory of 750,000 used cars and trucks. Consumers will also have access to automotive reviews, articles and other aftermarket information.

AOL and CompuServe members will have direct links to AutoConnect.com through the "ClassifiedPlus" areas of the three AOL properties included in the agreement.

"This unparalleled investment in online automotive marketing will enable us to drive tens of thousands of additional buyers to our dealers every month," said Chip Perry, president and CEO of AutoConnect. "Our goal is to continually provide dealers with the largest number of qualified buyers through our free listings, Web sites, traffic links, and banner advertising."

AOL and CompuServe members and visitors to AOL.com will also be able to list their cars for sale, free of charge.

AutoConnect will also be the main sponsor of AOL's Used Car "Decision Guides," helping consumers determine what car is right for them by walking them through a series of questions. Using AOL's PersonaLogic technology, the "Decision Guide" returns a list of cars that match each individual's needs.

AutoConnect is owned by Manheim Auctions Inc., a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, and the Dealer Services Group of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP). The site opened to dealers and consumers in May 1998.