Autohome Inc. and HappiGo to Form Joint Venture to Create a Full-Service Auto Sales Platform

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Autohome Inc. and HappiGo to Form Joint Venture to Create a Full-Service Auto Sales Platform

BEIJING, May 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Autohome Inc. (NYSE: ATHM) ("Autohome" or the "Company"), the leading online destination for automobile consumers in China, today announced its intention to establish a strategic joint venture (JV) with HappiGO Home Shopping Co (HappiGO), a leading TV shopping business in China, to build a full-service auto sales platform.  HappiGO is controlled by Hunan Broadcasting Systems, one of the largest media groups in China.

This JV will combine the marketing efforts of HappiGO's dedicated automotive TV series that offers feature programs with Autohome's dedicated webpage to distribute the related content with a focus on the sale of automobiles through a multi-dimensional and integrated approach.  Marketing content will be built to be accessible through mobile devices, PCs and on TV while transaction services will be executed on multiple platforms including the internet, TV, through call centers, and on a full-service physical automotive sales mall in Hunan Province.  Services offered will include vehicle display, test driving, sale of autos and auto accessories, auto delivery, and license plate registration. 

The initial paid-in capital for the JV will be RMB100 million.  Autohome will inject RMB49 million into the JV accounting for a 49% shareholding while HappiGO will inject RMB51 million for a 51% shareholding. 

"This joint venture with Autohome will be a milestone in our effort to diversify into automobile sales in an innovative way," said Mr. Liang Tang, General Manager of HappiGo.  "Autohome is a leading auto vertical online platform with extensive networks and deep relations with the automakers and dealers all over China.  It also has very strong online coverage with the deepest user engagement in the industry and more than 18 million daily active users on the mobile and PC fronts.  We believe that the strengths of Autohome will provide great potential for our auto sales partnership, which will also then create value for our shareholders."

James Qin, CEO of Autohome stated, "Autohome is focused on providing superior products and services for automakers and dealers to help them drive more efficiencies.  Partnering with HappiGo can effectively provide auto consumers in Hunan Province with an advanced auto shopping experience.  The JV will also serve as an additional channel for automakers and dealers in the region to better showcase and promote their products."

Mr. Qin added, "There were several factors that prompted the formation of this JV.  HappiGo has desirable TV shopping capabilities with a premier sales channel in China.  With HappiGo's significant media influence across China, Autohome will be able to enjoy substantial marketing exposure from HappiGO/Hunan Broadcasting Systems.  We are looking forward to building a long-term partnership with HappiGo." 

The JV will focus on the sale of new automobiles in the near-term.  It will potentially expand the offering to value-added services such as car maintenance and insurance services as well as used cars sales in the future. 

About Autohome Inc. 

Autohome Inc. (NYSE: ATHM) is the leading online destination for automobile consumers in China. Through its two websites, autohome.com.cn and che168.com and its mobile applications, the Company provides comprehensive, independent and interactive content to automobile buyers and owners. Autohome.com.cn ranked first among China's automotive websites and automotive channels of internet portals in terms of average daily unique visitors, average daily time spent per user and average daily page views in 2014, according to iResearch, a third-party research firm. The Company's ability to reach a large and engaged user base of automobile consumers has made Autohome the preferred platform for automakers and dealers to conduct their advertising campaigns. Automakers typically utilize its online advertising services for brand promotion, new model releases and sales promotions. Its dealer subscription services allow dealers to market their inventory and services through Autohome's websites, extending the reach of their physical showrooms to potentially millions of internet users in China. For further information, please visit www.autohome.com.cn.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains statements that may constitute "forward-looking" statements pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will", "expects", "anticipates", "future", "intends", "plans", "believes", "estimates" and similar statements. Among other things, Autohome's business outlook, Autohome's strategic and operational plans and quotations from management in this announcement contain forward-looking statements. Autohome may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Autohome's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: Autohome's goals and strategies; Autohome's future business development, results of operations and financial condition; the expected growth of the online automobile advertising market in China; Autohome's ability to attract and retain users and advertisers and further enhance its brand recognition; Autohome's expectations regarding demand for and market acceptance of its products and services; competition in the online automobile advertising industry; fluctuations in general economic and business conditions in China and assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Autohome's filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and Autohome does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

For investor and media inquiries, please contact:

Edith Kwan
Investor Relations
Autohome Inc.
Tel: +86-10-5987-1535
Email: ir@autohome.com.cn

Cara O'Brien
FTI Consulting, Inc.
Tel: +852-3768-4537
Email: cara.obrien@fticonsulting.com

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SOURCE Autohome Inc.


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