AOL Latino Launches New Spanish Language Automotive Channel with Exclusive Content Provided...

AOL Latino Launches New Spanish Language Automotive Channel with Exclusive Content Provided by Autobytel

Service Partner to Provide Customized Packages of Autos Info, Research, and Purchasing Tools


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Dulles, VA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 17, 2004–AOL(R) Latino, the leading Spanish language Internet service provider for U.S. Hispanics and Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), a leading automotive marketing services company, today announced their partnership to launch a new channel called Automoviles (Automobiles). This new Spanish language autos channel, developed to provide AOL Latino members with comprehensive Spanish language car search and comparison tools, will include expert automotive content, dynamic data and tools, and the ability to submit an online request to buy from a local Autobytel dealer.

The new Automoviles channel will serve an exceptionally active online car buying segment. According to the most recent AOL/Roper ASW U.S. Hispanic Cyberstudy released this Spring, online Hispanic consumers are purchasing new cars at four times the rate of the general population. The study also finds that 46% of online Hispanics are using the Internet to design and customize their car of choice, as well as locate a dealer for that car. Also, about 48% of online Hispanics have bought a new car within the last three years.

Utilizing Autobytel tools and data, AOL Latino members will easily be able to compare pricing, performance, safety and specifications data across all major auto brands in Spanish, while benefiting from additional consumer cost savings.(1)

“With so many Hispanics researching and purchasing cars online, we realized it was key for AOL Latino to provide comprehensive and dynamic automotive coverage in Spanish to all of its members,” says David Wellisch, Vice President and General Manager, AOL Latino. “With the launch of our new Automoviles channel and our partnership with Autobytel, we are providing our members with rich content and useful tools to help them make well-informed car buying decisions.”

The new Automoviles channel powered by Autobytel will include expert and driver reviews, car buying tips and advice, and late-breaking automotive news. A suite of specialized research tools developed by Autobytel’s data and software division, AIC (Automotive Information Center), will enable AOL Latino members to search for vehicles according to a range of criteria (auto make, category, price, etc.), then custom-configure an option package for a desired model. The shopper can then automatically compare that specific vehicle to similarly equipped competitive models in terms of safety, price and specifications. This in-depth research and comparison process is supported by up to 19 interior and exterior photos of each make and model on the market. Once buyers have made their choices, they can submit a request to receive a no-haggle price quote from a local Autobytel dealer.

“In 2001, when Autobytel launched Autobytel En Espanol, the company recognized the critical importance of Spanish-language automotive marketing,” says Michael Rosenberg, Autobytel Inc. Vice President of Marketing. “As the U.S. Latino population continues to represent an ever-larger piece of the overall automotive market, our investment and leadership in this area will continue to pay off. Aggressively expanding Autobytel’s Spanish language outreach to the U.S. Latino market not only helps bring consumer-friendly car-buying to an under-served segment; it also makes solid business sense. Joining with an outstanding consumer brand like AOL to substantially increase our reach within the Hispanic market is truly an incredible opportunity.”

About AOL(R) Latino

AOL Latino, the leading Internet service provider for U.S. Hispanics, offers comprehensive Spanish product features such as toolbar, menus, Parental Controls, and Homework Help. AOL Latino also provides Spanish language content including U.S. and Latin American news, the latest in music, entertainment and sports, as well as access to all the existing content available on the English language AOL(R) service for no extra cost.

About Autobytel

Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), a leading Internet automotive marketing services company, helps retailers sell cars and manufacturers build brands through marketing, advertising, data and CRM (customer relationship management) products and programs. The Company owns and operates the automotive websites Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com, Carsmart.com, Car.com and AutoSite.com, as well as AIC (Automotive Information Center), a trusted industry source of automotive marketing data and technology for over 20 years. Autobytel is also a leader in dealership lead management and CRM solutions and owns and operates AVV, Inc., a top provider of dealership CRM and sales management products, and Retention Performance Marketing, Inc., (RPM(R)), which powers dealerships with cutting-edge customer loyalty and retention marketing programs. As the Internet’s largest new car buying service, Autobytel generates over a billion dollars a month in car sales for dealers through its services and was the most visited new car buying and research destination in 2003, reaching millions of car shoppers as they made their vehicle buying decisions. Autobytel’s car-selling sites and lead management products are used by more of the nation’s top-100 e-dealers than any other program.

(1) A study conducted by Yale University and U.C. Berkeley found that Autobytel.com saves shoppers as much as $450 per purchase.

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CONTACT:
America Online
Lori Dolginoff, 212.652.6363
or
Autobytel Inc.
Melanie Webber, 949.862.3023

AOL Latino Launches New Spanish Language Automotive Channel with Exclusive Content Provided by Autobytel