Blog: Dave LeggettSome die, some are born

Dave Leggett | 7 October 2003

Goodbye to Autopig ( whoever you were. I'm looking at a pad of customised post-it notes that proudly proclaim at the bottom of each one: ' Buy or sell your vehicle free.' And there's a tasteful cartoon-like pic of a smiling pig wearing sunglasses. I remember about three years ago when the post-its arrived in the office one day, along with complimentary mouse mats and a hyperbole riddled press release. The autopig name and the cool pig pic got a ten second belly laugh and then the freebies and press release were dispatched to the bin - except that I always hang on to a few post-its. I also accumulate pens, but that's me. Maybe I have some Scottish ancestry somewhere.

Back to autopig. We thought the name was a bit dubious at the time - negative connotations go with swine association after all. Buy or sell online for free? Maybe the business model wasn't too robust either. Try to visit that URL now and you're redirected to a number plate registration site. No sign of any smiling pig offering to sell or buy used cars. Those guys are gone. They probably had a window to develop critical mass in terms of people using the site and didn't make it before the money ran out. Hope the descent wasn't too painful. Lord knows there have been enough painful ones since 2000.

But one of the attractions of the online world is its inate dynamism. There are new things being tried out all the time - some fail, some, like just-auto, enjoy some success. Here's a new website that has just sprung up, aimed at providing an information service to dealers and the retail side of the industry in Britain. It's called MTS knowledge and one of the guys behind it is Toby Proctor - a good guy who has written for just-auto in the past. I'm pleased for him personally as he was one of the unfortunates on automotive-online's staff list when that went belly-up last year. The MTS site looks pretty good - can't think of another one quite like it. Also, Christopher Macgowan, SMMT's top cat, has endorsed it and that's a good endorsement to have.


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