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Motor sites signal merger intent

WA auto parts and service company Marlows is merging its TheRide.com website with another WA auto website, Fastlane, to create Fasttorque.

TheRide, billed as an auto lifestyle site, was running for nearly a year as a stand-alone website. However, web surfers entering theride.com into a web browser are now taken to the Marlows home page.

It is understood the company spent more than $1 million to develop TheRide.

The merger gives Marlows an exclusive licence to use Fastlane’s content and archives.

Marlows managing director Paul Wagner said the two parties complemented each other.

“No expense was spared in what we always planned to be a world-best automotive lifestyle website based on state-of-the art hardware and software. We were happy with what we finished up with,” Mr Wagner said.

Fastlane editor Gary Warner said his site averaged about 200,000 hits per week.

“Perhaps more importantly, we average about 100,000 page views per week and have about 22,000 unique visitors,” Mr Warner said.

“The new arrangement involves the merging of Fastlane’s content and archives with the functionality of the Marlows website.”

Fastlane is one of Australia’s oldest dedicated automotive websites.

It was launched as a used car locater in 1996 by Microweb but the lack of webservers around at the time made it an impractical project. It quickly turned to becoming a content provider and Mr Warner took it over in 1997.

Microweb became OzEmail West and, ultimately, part of Chrome Global. Chrome Global is currently in administration.

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