The end of an era: iconic Auto Trader magazine prints its last issue

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The weekly version of Auto Trader magazine launched in 1981 and became an essential purchase for Kiwi car fans.

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The weekly version of Auto Trader magazine launched in 1981 and became an essential purchase for Kiwi car fans.

After 40 years of being the essential ‘car bible’ for petrolheads around New Zealand, the Auto Trader Media Group has confirmed the March 2022 edition of the iconic Auto Trader magazine will be the final print edition as it becomes a solely online entity.

The weekly Auto Trader first launched in 1981 as a classified magazine for dealers and private sellers to advertise used cars. It was the number one automotive print product for many decades and its purchase became a weekly ritual for Kiwi car fans.

Former Bauer Media employees Ross Logue and Richie East took over Auto Trader from Bauer in 2019 and launched a new version of the AutoTrader.co.nz website in June 2020.

The magazine recently celebrated its 40th Birthday with a range of clothing featuring iconic cars.

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The magazine recently celebrated its 40th Birthday with a range of clothing featuring iconic cars.

The magazine celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021, marking the occasion with a new collection of clothing released by Mr Vintage, consisting of t-shirts, hoodies and beanies, decorated with well-loved Kiwi vehicles like the Subaru Impreza, Ford Escort Mk II and Barry Crump’s Toyota Hilux.

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“The Auto Trader magazine was seen as the Kiwi car bible for many of its 40 years in New Zealand. We’re proud to have reached our 40th birthday in July last year which was testament to the amazing magazine it is,” said East.

“We’re very excited to be continuing the legacy brand name online at AutoTrader.co.nz. We have seen amazing growth over the past 2 years. Car listings, buyers and enquiries have all shown strong growth, and we have a very positive future ahead.”

East said that with consumers and dealers shifting to online platforms, and with several cost increases in the print industry due to Covid and global market conditions, the decision to shift to 100 per cent digital made sense.

“We’re looking to innovate by introducing new products and services to grow our presence even further in the online automotive market in New Zealand.”

According to East listings on the Auto Trader website have increased by 53 per cent since its relaunch and with over 200,000 car buyers a month, Auto Trader will “continue to increase its presence in New Zealand’s online car market.”

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