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Technology

J.D. Power, Consumers Car Club in Joint E-Commerce Venture

Internet: New firm will combine broad product research database with array of retail services and price discounts.

May 02, 2000|JOHN O'DELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Market research giant J.D. Power & Associates will announce the formation of an e-commerce company this morning aimed at combining Power's sweeping consumer information database with an array of members-only retail services and discount prices.

The new company, to be called J.D. Power Clubs Inc., is a joint venture of Power's dormant Web site and San Francisco-based Consumers Car Club, operator of the new Carclub.com Web site.

J. David Power, chairman of the Agoura Hills research firm that bears his name, said the new company will provide the first public outlet for the consumer research done by the firm he founded 32 years ago.

"It is a great brand name that will attract people, but the question is whether the quality of the J.D. Power information is seen as better than the information and decision-making tools that are out there already," said Jonathan Gaw, research manager for International Data Corp.

Though launching as an automotive venture, J.D. Power Clubs ultimately will include special interest clubs dealing with insurance, financial services, telecommunications and real estate.

Consumers can now log on to Carclub.com for the various retail services offered, and when the full program is in operation this summer, they will be able to log on to JDPower.com, call up the information center and receive digests of Power's consumer satisfaction surveys, customized to individual preferences.

Carclub.com, which was launched last month, now has about 20,000 members. J.D. Power spokesman Pete Marlow said the new company expects to have 400,000 members by year's end.

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