Autobytel

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Autobytel Inc.
Type Public
Industry Automotive Marketing Services
Headquarters Irvine, California, United States
Key people Jeffrey H. Coats, President & CEO;
Curtis E. DeWalt, SVP & CFO;
Glenn Fuller, EVP, CLAO & Secretary[1]
Net income $1.4M[2]
Employees 122[2]
Website www.autobytel.com

Autobytel Inc. (NASDAQABTL) 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 1996.[3] On April 25, 2007 Autobytel was named one of California's 15 best technology innovators.[4] Currently, Autobytel owns and operates Autobytel.com and Car.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.[5]

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.[6]

The financial crisis of 2008 forced the company to reduce costs primarily by laying off a big portion of the workforce.[7] It also considered selling itself, but that plan was tabled in 2009.[7] 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[8]

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