Haymarket buys and closes Test Drive

Haymarket has acquired Test Drive magazine from Dennis Publishing and immediately closed the title which will be in corporated into What Car?

Test Drive launched in 2004 as a direct rival to Haymarket's What Car? backed by a £4.5 million advertising campaign It initially sold up to 114,000 copies, but its latest ABC figure, for the second half of 2005, was 50,113.

The final issue of Test Drive, dated September, will go on sale this week and its website, testdrivemag.co.uk, will also cease to publish. Haymarket will take on Test Drive’s subscriber base.

James Tye, chief executive of Dennis Publishing, said: "The car market remains extremely tough and our decision to sell the magazine is a direct reflection of this. The new-look Test Drive, with its fresh editorial direction and new price point was a superb product in my mind, but it was very hard to see how the magazine could grow in the current advertising and copy sales climate.

"With a heavy heart we decided that the decision to sell was the best one."

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