Autobytel Inc., an Internet new carbuying service and automotive research center, announcedthe winners of its first annual Consumer Choice Awards at the 2003National Automobile Dealers Association Convention in San Francisco.According to the company, the Autobytel Consumer Choice Awards were presented to themanufacturers who built the cars and trucks that were the most popularamong Autobytel's online car-buyers in 2002, based onPurchase Request data amassed by Autobytel throughout the year.Autobytel says the award announcements reveal some notable differences betweenonline buyers and their traditional counterparts. Autobytel's MostRequested New Vehicle and Most Requested New Passenger Car Awards, forexample, were both won by the redesigned Nissan Altima, which gainedmomentum in the market overall, but which nonetheless did notrank among the top ten sellers last year.The Acura 3.2 CL,meanwhile, surpassed its European and American competitors in the MostRequested New Luxury Car category. Honda won in two additionalcategories as well -- Most Requested New Minivan (the Honda Odyssey)and #1 Overall Most Requested Used Vehicle (the 1999 Honda Accord). GM also took home three awards. The Chevy Tahoe won the MostRequested New SUV award, and the Chevy Silverado won the MostRequested New Truck. Cadillac's intensive youth marketing campaign andnew vehicle line-up, meanwhile, appear to have paid off with big gainsamong online buyers, who tend to skew younger (and more metropolitanand affluent). The brand was presented with a special AutobytelConsumer Choice Award as the manufacturer with the greatestyear-on-year percentage gain in online Purchase Requests from 2001 to2002. "The Awards reveal that online shoppers are, in many cases, buyingdifferent vehicles than their offline counterparts," said AutobytelPresident and CEO Jeffrey Schwartz. "I attribute at least some of thedisparity to the fact that online buyers undergo a different, moreselective shopping process. They break down features and options;they read reviews; they cross-compare; they actively move from brandto brand. Our Award winners can take pride in the fact that they builtthe vehicles these research-intensive online shoppers said they wantedto buy in 2002." Recipients of the Consumer Choice Awards were named at a pressconference attended by representatives from major manufacturers andindustry press. About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc., an Internet automotivemarketing services company, says it helps retailers sell cars andmanufacturers build brands through marketing, advertising and CRM(customer relationship management) programs. The company owns andoperates the automotive websites Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com,Carsmart.com and automotive research center, AutoSite.com, aswell as AIC (Automotive Information Center), a provider ofautomotive marketing data and technology.