If history (and Joni Mitchell) teaches us anything it is that we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone. Over time we have seen print newspaper and magazines fall to the power of the internet. More and more publications have given up the fight and gone digital and that includes motor trade periodicals.
It has just been announced that the next issue – the 925th – of the legendary Glass’s Guide for cars will be the last in print. This heroic trade journal has ceased to be economic in our digital age, alas. The final print run will be hot off the presses next month after eighty-three years of continuous publication interrupted only the the Second World War. There are no plans at this time to end the other printed guides that cover the commercial vehicle, caravan and motorcycle sectors.
Glass’s Guide has been the principal handbook of the motor trade and there is no reason to assume that anything will change when the presence becomes virtual. Generations of industry professionals and – when they can get their hands on a copy – members of the public have used the information to accurately judge the value of a car for the purposes of negotiation.
So the days are gone when dealers and auction buyers could be seen delving into a well-thumbed copy for the facts. Glass’s have come to realise that as the trade has upgraded and taken the digital route so more and more users are accessing information on line. Subscribers won’t be let down however as the switch-over to the app service has been ongoing for some time now and only a handful of users are taking the print version anyway. For those that do the change is being managed appropriately so that no one loses out.The Glass’s Guide App contains four times the number of car valuations, alongside easy mileage adjustment and registration look-up. The layout remains the same to make life easy for existing users. It can save searches and gives access to historic valuations. Where connectivity is difficult or non-existent the app will even work offline.
Although it is a sign of the times the loss of such an august publication is a shame. Historically the buying and selling of cars has included the small-ad in our now disappearing local press as sales of cars and all the other stuff we want to get rid off has moved online onto local sell and exchange marts. Now that car dealers and private sellers have moved online it simply makes sense for trade publications to do the same. Geoff Maxted