SEASON 3 | EPISODE 7: “Consumers are widening their search radius” | Alex Vetter, CEO, Cars.com

“Consumers are widening their search radius” Alex Vetter

You might be surprised to learn, Alex Vetter isn’t exactly a car guy.
    But to hear him talk about the industry, you wouldn’t know it. “I’m more focused on technology and business model evolution, and I leave the curation of the cars to the pros.”
His website, Cars.com, hardly needs an introduction. It generates more organic traffic than any other website in the sector, with about 30 million visits per month, helping over 20,000 dealerships across the U.S. connect to customers who are searching for their next vehicle.
    With nearly 25 years at the head of Cars.com, Vetter is plugged into the automotive industry on both the manufacturing side and dealership side. On this episode, Derek D and Alex Vetter explore the insights that Cars.com generates as a “pretail” platform — where consumers go in the early research stage of the buying process — and much more.

Interview Highlights:

  • Vetter’s story of buying the Cars.com domain name in 1997 for $70k (and the mural in the company’s lobby that’s a reminder of that moment)
  • How data from Cars.com shows consumer interest by geography, at a granular level — including make, model, and even colors that people are searching for
  • The ways in which the auto industry has led communities through the pandemic

…and much more.


Derek D is an actor, comedian, and host with 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Before becoming a host on the DNT podcast, Derek was well known in the automotive industry for hosting the award-winning car news show Fast Lane Daily.

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