Autobytel Inc., an Internet new car buying service and automotive research center, announced the winners of its first annual Consumer Choice Awards at the 2003 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention in San Francisco. According to the company, the Autobytel Consumer Choice Awards were presented to the manufacturers who built the cars and trucks that were the most popular among Autobytel's online car-buyers in 2002, based on Purchase Request data amassed by Autobytel throughout the year. Autobytel says the award announcements reveal some notable differences between online buyers and their traditional counterparts. Autobytel's Most Requested New Vehicle and Most Requested New Passenger Car Awards, for example, were both won by the redesigned Nissan Altima, which gained momentum in the market overall, but which nonetheless did not rank among the top ten sellers last year. The Acura 3.2 CL, meanwhile, surpassed its European and American competitors in the Most Requested New Luxury Car category. Honda won in two additional categories 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 Most Requested New SUV award, and the Chevy Silverado won the Most Requested New Truck. Cadillac's intensive youth marketing campaign and new vehicle line-up, meanwhile, appear to have paid off with big gains among online buyers, who tend to skew younger (and more metropolitan and affluent). The brand was presented with a special Autobytel Consumer Choice Award as the manufacturer with the greatest year-on-year percentage gain in online Purchase Requests from 2001 to 2002. "The Awards reveal that online shoppers are, in many cases, buying different vehicles than their offline counterparts," said Autobytel President and CEO Jeffrey Schwartz. "I attribute at least some of the disparity to the fact that online buyers undergo a different, more selective shopping process. They break down features and options; they read reviews; they cross-compare; they actively move from brand to brand. Our Award winners can take pride in the fact that they built the vehicles these research-intensive online shoppers said they wanted to buy in 2002." Recipients of the Consumer Choice Awards were named at a press conference attended by representatives from major manufacturers and industry press. About Autobytel Inc. Autobytel Inc., an Internet automotive marketing services company, says it helps retailers sell cars and manufacturers build brands through marketing, advertising and CRM (customer relationship management) programs. The company owns and operates the automotive websites,, and automotive research center,, as well as AIC (Automotive Information Center), a provider of automotive marketing data and technology.