Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL) has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 DrivingSales Most Valuable Insight Award, which was created to foster the spirit of progress and thought leadership in the auto industry. Autobytel’s “Capitalizing on Changes in Online Shopping Behaviors” was selected from a competitive field of submissions, and will be presented onstage at the inaugural DrivingSales Presidents Club event, held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, April 21-22, 2013. "Since 1995 when Autobytel pioneered the automotive Internet, we’ve connected tens of millions of car buyers with thousands of dealers across the U.S.,” said Jeffrey Coats, CEO of Autobytel Inc. “Our rich history and unparalleled understanding of this industry enables us to provide dealers with the most effective strategies to successfully manage Internet customers and ultimately sell more cars. We’re proud to be named a finalist of this prestigious competition and look forward to presenting data and insights that address the reality of consumer buying behaviors today.” Autobytel.com is one of the nation’s leading online resources to help consumers research, shop for, purchase and own a car. The quality of Autobytel’s consumer purchase requests (Internet leads) have earned industry accolades as being the best in the business— with Autobytel’s internally generated leads converting at approximately three times the rate of the estimated industry average. What’s more, the company’s partnership with R.L. Polk & Co. enables it to provide dealers with meaningful insight into the most successful online lead management strategies. Just recently, the company announced that for each of 2011 and 2012, consumers who submitted leads delivered to dealers accounted for nearly four percent of all new car retail sales, representing approximately 824,000 vehicles. “There are so many creative and innovative thinkers in our industry that we wanted to provide a special forum for uncovering insights that can create significant change and benefit, but that are often overlooked or unheralded,” said DrivingSales Founder and CEO Jared Hamilton. “We are not surprised that we received so many remarkable entries and congratulate Autobytel on being selected as a finalist in a very competitive field. We know their insight will not only benefit the executives attending the Presidents Club, but will provide value to all dealership leaders on the look-out for smart ways to improve their operations.”
The Most Valuable Insight Competition is part of a high-level line up at the DrivingSales Presidents Club, an intimate and collaborative event designed for an elite audience of dealership principals and General Managers to help them build the strategies they need to adapt to a changing automotive retail market – and to lead it. The event will focus on the three foundational elements of successful dealership operations – Capital, Brand and People. Entrepreneur and best-selling author Seth Godin, who was named one of the top 21 speakers for the 21 st century by Successful Meetings magazine, will keynote the event.The DrivingSales Presidents Club will be held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City from April 21 - 22, 2013. Visit www.drivingsalespresidentsclub.com for more information and to register for the event. For more information about the DrivingSales Most Valuable Insight Competition, go to www.drivingsalespresidentsclub.com/competition/. About Autobytel Inc. Autobytel Inc., an online leader offering consumer purchase requests, or leads, and marketing resources to car dealers and manufacturers and providing consumers with the information they need to purchase new and used cars, pioneered the automotive Internet when it launched its flagship website, www.autobytel.com, in 1995. Autobytel continues to offer innovative products and services to help consumers buy, and auto dealers and manufacturers sell, more used and new cars. Autobytel has helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online. Through its flagship website, network of automotive sites and respected online affiliates, Autobytel continues its dedication to innovating the industry's highest quality Internet programs to provide consumers with a comprehensive and positive automotive research and purchasing experience, and auto dealers, dealer groups and auto manufacturers with some of the industry's most productive and cost-effective customer referral and marketing programs. Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at investor.autobytel.com/alerts.cfm. About DrivingSales Founded in 2008 and dedicated to the dealer community, DrivingSales is a business intelligence and performance improvement company that delivers unbiased*, profit-building information to make automobile dealers more successful through three distinct channels: DrivingSales Data, DrivingSales University and DrivingSales Media. DrivingSales Data houses the largest database of cross-vendor, dealership performance data in the North American auto industry and provides dealerships with the most statistically accurate performance benchmarks and metrics for their marketing and technology investments. DrivingSales University is a fully interactive online university that offers advanced profit-building strategies to automotive professionals through hundreds of classes taught by world-leading experts. DrivingSales Media connects dealers to peers and information through its global media assets, including DrivingSales.com, the world’s largest automotive social network; The Dealership Innovation Guide, an industry leading quarterly publication; DrivingSales Executive Summit, the top automotive conference for progressive dealers, and DrivingSalesTV, Web TV covering everything car-dealer related. Approximately one in every three dealerships in the United States has a registered member in the DrivingSales community. *Vendor Neutral Policy: Dedicated solely to making dealerships more profitable, while also providing benefit to automakers and the industry as a whole, DrivingSales adheres to a strict vendor neutral policy through each of its channels. This means the company only provides unbiased information, not ‘pay-to-play’ follow up services -- and never accepts payment in exchange for media coverage or lets potential advertisers dictate messaging or create bias in any of its channels.