hit a record 16.07 million unique monthly visitors in March. 2009 has been good for the Web site, which stood at 14 million uniques just two months ago. CEO Chip Perry said that the increase “tells us that, even in this very challenging economy, there is an ever burgeoning audience of shoppers who are thinking about buying a car and are responding to our marketing messages.”

The trend comes from both ends, Perry said. Consumers are looking for the best deals which are most frequently on the Web, and advertisers are moving more to Internet advertising from mainstream marketing buys.

Perry pointed to industry figures citing a 23 percent increase in online ad spending between 2007-2008 for the automotive industry. At the same time, advertising spending on traditional media (newspapers, television, etc.) dropped between 2 percent and 5 percent, with newspapers suffering the largest drop in advertising.