Welcome to the new look just-auto.

The changes you see before you are the culmination of over a year’s hard work here at just-auto Towers and we believe respond directly to the intelligence needs of the modern automotive industry. Our aim, with this relaunch, is to cement the reputation of the just-auto readership as the world’s most informed auto executives.

‘Revamp’, ‘redesign’ or ‘relaunch’ are terms used pretty indiscriminately by publishers these days. But as you explore the new just-auto over coming weeks, you’ll see that this isn’t merely a tweak to the look of the publication, but a major expansion of the service we deliver. The automotive industry never stands still and neither does digital publishing – the improvements you see here are a reflection of that pace of change.

At the cornerstone of the new site is an understanding of the changing needs of the digital reader, how they search for industry information and what they need from our service.

When we launched just-auto 10 years ago, publishing was dominated by the print market. Trade magazines delivered otherwise hard-to-find content through the letter box. just-auto was a pioneer in a digital revolution that sounded the death knell to the idea that print was the most effective and efficient way to get essential industry news to an audience.

In the decade since, just-auto has cemented a reputation for high quality journalism, delivered to daily deadlines, via the latest technology on the market.

However, changes to the digital world in the last few years have altered the publishing landscape once again. Content on the auto industry is no longer hard to find, and it’s often out there for free.

The challenge now for the auto executive is an overload of information, much of it of moderate quality and re-hashed from publication to publication. The question is not “how do I find information?” but, of the vast sources, “who do I trust?” and “where do I find quality?”

Clearly the challenge for just-auto, as we continue to evolve in the best interests of our readers, is to deliver unique content that produces a clear return on investment for you.

The key is understanding the difference between information that is freely available across the web and insight and intelligence that genuinely provides a competitive advantage. “Information is something interesting you don’t know what to do with”, a digital media expert recently said, “insights and intelligence prompts and enables a decision; it puts information into context where you are urged to act.”

just-auto will never ignore the information – we understand you still need to know what has happened. But, where we differ from our competitors, and what this new site delivers in spades, is the insight and intelligence you require to put the latest developments in context and take your business decisions quickly and correctly. Reporting the news has always been the cornerstone of successful B2B websites. But, put simply, it is no longer enough.

Enough of the theory. What does this mean in practice?

One look at our new menu and you’ll see how heavily weighted our content now is to opinion, comment, analysis, interviews and briefings. Our collection of regular columnists will deliver an enviable array of analysis and comment that we believe will be unsurpassed in the industry.

Coming from a wide range of disciplines and specialities they include:

  • Karl Ludvigsen – award winning writer and former senior auto executive
  • Rob Golding – former director of auto industry research at UBS Warburg and our corporate results man
  • Mark Bursa – our BRICs and emerging markets analyst
  • Matthew Beecham – our long-standing supplier innovations and research analyst
  • Glenn Brooks – new models and vehicle specifications (PLDB)
  • Tony Pugliese – based in Jakarta, our ASEAN markets specialist
  • John Voelcker – our hybrids and electric vehicle technologies specialist

They are joined by our global network of contributors and specialists including: Tony Lewis (global news), Satnam Singh (India), Tristan Young (VMs), Ivan Castano (Spain), Richard Yarrow (VMs), David Miles (VMs), Keith Nuthall (European Union, government affairs and regulation), Juan Vargas (South America), Fernando Calmon (Mercosur region), Chris Wright (global news) and Andrew Charman (VMs).

We have significantly invested in-house too.

The newly expanded team of journalists will still be headed up by industry veteran Dave Leggett, now 10 years at just-auto and with a background that includes director and forecasting roles at CSM, the Economist Intelligence Unit and DRI (now IHS Global Insight).

Graeme Roberts, also of just-auto fame for the best part of a decade and with almost 30 years in automotive journalism and PR roles, will continue to head up the news team as deputy/news editor.

However, the auto team has also been joined recently by Simon Warburton, a hugely experienced financial journalist, as business editor, and myself, Chris Brook-Carter (my background is in running digital magazines), contributing as associate editor.

Our search facility too has been radically overhauled. Companies, sectors and issues: these are the means by which readers seek and mentally slice and dice automotive intelligence. Our navigation now includes direct access to information by company or sector/topic. Furthermore, searching and browsing includes the option to continually drill-down via company or sector/topic until you find the insight you need.

This is just the start. Throughout 2010 and 2011 we will continue to invest in unique, high quality analysis, data and tools to help you keep your edge.

As part of our plans we will be moving our library of PDF research reports to a new intelligence service based on real-time publishing, so that threats and opportunities are immediately apparent.

We will also continue to broaden our scope and capabilities for custom research, analysis and technical projects requiring a fast-turnaround and price that reflects today’s economy.

There is much to discover about the new just-auto and we hope that, over the next few weeks, you’ll let us know what you think about the service. We believe it’s a platform that will deliver on the news, analysis and research needs of the automotive executive.

But, of course, you will be the judge of that and we’d like to hear your verdict.

Chris Brook-Carter
Editorial Director
Aroq (publisher of just-auto)