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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Automotive Media

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Official Site: Autobytel.com
Wikipedia: Autobytel

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An automotive media company founded in 1995, it operates the internet sites Autobytel.com, Car.com. AutoWeb.com, and UsedCars.com.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Autobytel page on 27 May 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Autobytel Inc. (NASDAQ: ABTL) is an automotive media and marketing services company in the United States. Located in Irvine, California, U.S.A. Autobytel Inc. was founded in 1995 by Pete Ellis, a Southern California businessman well known for the high amount of television advertisements for his dealerships located in Southgate, California throughout the 1980s. Autobytel was the first Internet company to advertise during the Super Bowl in 1997. On April 25, 2007 Autobytel was named one of California's 15 best technology innovators. Currently, Autobytel owns and operates Autobytel.com, Car.com. AutoWeb.com, and UsedCars.com.

Through Autobytel’s marketing network, the company provides both automotive dealers and manufacturers with brand and product marketing opportunities.

Autobytel offers automotive dealers tools to manage their business. Specific products include: the Rapid Response program, designed to connect dealers to online customers via phone, as well as the Email Manager program, which manages long-term email campaigns on behalf of the dealership. Additionally, LeadCall, a live call program that sets in-dealership appointments and scores customer readiness to buy for auto dealers.

On Nov 15, 2004, Autobytel announced to restate results for the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2003, the full 2003 fiscal year, and the first and second quarters of 2004, due to its accounting problems covering a number of issues surfaced after the disclosure of a review by its audit committee. After further review, on March 15, 2005, the Company announced that it also expected to restate its financial statements for the full 2002 fiscal year and the first fiscal quarter of 2003.

In 2004, a class action lawsuit was filed against Autobytel alleging that it violated Securities Exchange Act by disseminating false statements and inflating its financial results.

The financial crisis of 2008 forced the company to reduce costs primarily by laying off a big portion of the workforce. It also considered selling itself, but that plan was tabled in 2009. The FY2012 results showed a small profit, suggesting the layoff strategy worked at keeping the business running until the economy recovered.

In late 2013 Autobytel purchased a portion of Autoweb.com, a targeted automotive advertising company In early 2014, Autobytel purchased AutoUSA from AutoNation Inc. for $10 million in cash, a $1 million convertible note and other consideration. In May 2015, Autobytel acquired Dealix Corporation and Autotegrity, Inc. (wholly owned subsidiaries of CDK Global, LLC), for $25 million. On October 1, 2015, Autobytel acquired Autoweb, Inc. in an all-stock and warrant transaction.

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2 January 2012Autoshopper.com Announces Expansion of Publishing Representation Offering, Thanks to a New Agreement with Autobytel for 2012Showcase Publications

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