Canadian Auto publisher files for bankruptcy protection

Canadian DRIVEN, MOTOMAG, AUTOMAG + QUÉBEC TUNING, AUTO JOURNAL, IMAGINE and AUTO PASSION magazines are undergoing changes after their Québec-based publisher, AUTO JOURNAL GROUP, filed for bankruptcy protection in March.

Owner Michel Crépault says the combination of a global recession, auto industry crisis, and online competition has resulted in a significant lost of revenue. All the magazines rely heavily on advertising from auto industry manufacturers, some of which have stopped advertising altogether in all six magazines.

Despite an April 2009 restructuring that saw a reduction in fulltime staff from 23 to six and a relocation of office space, the company has been losing money steadily. An editorial overhaul of the magazines did not bring the advertisers back either.

The company was also expecting income from selling its flagship magazine, Driven, but the transaction fell through in early March.

Motomag, the motorcycle magazine, printed its last issue in March and Crépault is currently working to create an online version of both Motomag and Québec Tuning. Autojournal, a monthly car dealer’s magazine, remains profitable and will continue to be printed. Crépault is also confident the other titles will survive even if sold off because they serve a strong niche market.

Contact Michel Crépault at 514 684-6426, michel.crepault@autojournal.qc.ca, for more information.

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