Opinion Research Survey Finds Slowing Economy Influencing Used Car Shoppers

70% of Consumers Believe That Purchasing Online Could Enable Them to Buy A

Better Used Vehicle for Less Money



Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from autobytel.com inc.

    IRVINE, Calif., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Car buyers are heading to used
 car lots as the American economy continues to slow.  In a recent study
 conducted for Autobytel.com by Princeton, New Jersey-based Opinion Research,
 39 percent of American adults feel the current state of the economy would
 influence them to purchase a used vehicle rather than purchasing or leasing a
 new vehicle.  Those with household incomes under $50,000 are more likely to
 say that the economy would influence them to purchase a used car or truck than
 adults from households with higher incomes (47% versus 29%).
     Seventy percent of adults surveyed also agree that purchasing online could
 enable them to buy a better vehicle for less money.  Over one-half (52%)
 indicated that the first source they would trust for objective information to
 help them obtain the best price is a website (such as Autobytel.com) that
 offers comparisons on multiple brands and features.  Only 13 percent of those
 surveyed said they would first trust a website offering only one make of
 vehicle; 23 percent indicated that they would first trust a salesperson from a
 dealership or used car lot for this information.
     Eighty-one percent said, when it comes to the actual purchase of a used
 vehicle, that the ability to exchange a vehicle for another vehicle after the
 purchase, money back guarantees, or warranties, are important.  Almost
 one-third of those surveyed stated that these options are extremely important.
     Autobytel.com, the global leader in online automotive commerce, was one of
 the first Internet companies to take a stake in the $363 billion used car
 market by offering used car purchasing over the Internet, and has recently
 broadened its used vehicle program, CyberStore.  "We have instituted new
 processes in our used car program to meet this increasing demand for used cars
 and trucks," said Autobytel.com President and CEO Mark Lorimer.  "For example,
 the size of payments takes on greater importance in the monthly budget when
 the economy slows, so we have added a function that allows consumers to search
 for cars by monthly payment."
     In addition, Autobytel's CyberStore is designed to help relieve tensions
 that often accompany the purchase of a used vehicle by providing comprehensive
 dealer guarantees on certified vehicle listings.  Accredited CyberStore
 Dealers offer certified vehicles with three-month warranties and a 72-hour
 exchange policy, as well as non-certified vehicles.  All certified vehicles in
 the CyberStore must meet state requirements for inspection and emissions, and
 the site provides free "lemon checks" and extra vehicle history reports.
     Autobytel.com CyberStore consumers have multiple options to help them find
 the exact used car or truck they are looking for, including search by make and
 model, search by vehicle type, search by geographic location as well as price
 and monthly payment.  With the ability to search from thousands of certified
 and non-certified used vehicles, used-car buyers can choose from vehicles of
 every description, priced from as little as $1,000 to as much as $100,000.
     "When you want a used car, you can go to ten dealerships and never really
 find what you're looking for," said Autobytel.com customer Mary McCoig.
 "Autobytel took my criteria and matched me up with a dealer in minutes.  You
 could spend two weeks on the phone trying to do that and fail.  I did it in
 20 minutes on the Internet."
     The CyberStore also provides consumers with two windows of essential
 car-buying information.  The top window displays the vehicle search results,
 while the bottom window provides specific details on each vehicle, including a
 digital picture, mileage information, pricing and other important information.
 CyberStore visitors are able to research and compare listings to help them
 find a used vehicle that fits their specific needs and budget.
     According to Opinion Research, of the adults surveyed, nearly two thirds
 (64%) said they use the Internet.  Eighty-three percent of those living in
 households earning $50,000 or more indicated they used the Internet compared
 to 55 percent in households earning $50,000 or less.
 
     About autobytel.com inc.
     autobytel.com inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), the global leader in online automotive
 commerce, brings car buyers, owners, and sellers together in a trusted
 environment, empowered by the Internet.  Through its extensive automotive
 content and multiple purchasing, financing, insurance and service options,
 Autobytel offers consumers choice and peace of mind throughout the automotive
 lifecycle, while providing its network of accredited dealers and automotive
 services partners the most efficient way to reach online car buyers and
 owners.  Autobytel and its wholly-owned subsidiary, A.I.N. Corporation
 (Carsmart), have a network of dealers nationwide and are the seventh largest
 generator of automotive sales in the United States, just behind GM, Ford,
 DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan.  Autobytel has been ranked #1 in
 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services for three years in a row by
 J.D. Power and Associates.(1)  Autobytel's low-cost, no-haggle car-buying
 program is available in the U.S., Canada (www.autobytel.ca), the United
 Kingdom (www.autobytel.co.uk), Sweden (www.autobytel.se), Netherlands
 (www.autobytel.nl), Japan (www.autobytel-japan.com), Australia
 (www.autobytel.com.au) and Spain (www.autobytel.es).  Headquartered in Irvine,
 California, Autobytel is recognized as the company that transformed the
 $1 trillion new car industry when it invented online car buying.
 
     (1) J.D. Power and Associates 1998 - 2000 Dealer Satisfaction With Online
 Buying Services Studies(SM).  2000 study conducted among dealership Internet
 specialists who completed 2,144 evaluations of individual services.
 www.jdpower.com.
 
     The statements contained in this press release that are not historical
 facts are forward-looking statements under the federal securities laws.  These
 forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and
 involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to
 predict.  Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is
 expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements.  Autobytel
 undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements,
 whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  Among the
 important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from
 those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements are changes
 in general economic conditions, increased or unexpected competition, the
 failure to realize anticipated synergies related to the proposed merger with
 Autoweb, failure to obtain required stockholder or regulatory approvals or the
 merger not closing for any other reason, failure of the combined company to
 retain and hire key employees, difficulties in successfully integrating the
 parties' businesses and technologies and other matters disclosed in
 Autobytel's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Investors
 are strongly encouraged to review our annual report on Form 10-K for the year
 ended December 31, 2000, and other reports on file with the Securities and
 Exchange Commission for a discussion of risks and uncertainties that could
 affect operating results and the market price of our stock.
 
 

SOURCE autobytel.com inc.
    IRVINE, Calif., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Car buyers are heading to used
 car lots as the American economy continues to slow.  In a recent study
 conducted for Autobytel.com by Princeton, New Jersey-based Opinion Research,
 39 percent of American adults feel the current state of the economy would
 influence them to purchase a used vehicle rather than purchasing or leasing a
 new vehicle.  Those with household incomes under $50,000 are more likely to
 say that the economy would influence them to purchase a used car or truck than
 adults from households with higher incomes (47% versus 29%).
     Seventy percent of adults surveyed also agree that purchasing online could
 enable them to buy a better vehicle for less money.  Over one-half (52%)
 indicated that the first source they would trust for objective information to
 help them obtain the best price is a website (such as Autobytel.com) that
 offers comparisons on multiple brands and features.  Only 13 percent of those
 surveyed said they would first trust a website offering only one make of
 vehicle; 23 percent indicated that they would first trust a salesperson from a
 dealership or used car lot for this information.
     Eighty-one percent said, when it comes to the actual purchase of a used
 vehicle, that the ability to exchange a vehicle for another vehicle after the
 purchase, money back guarantees, or warranties, are important.  Almost
 one-third of those surveyed stated that these options are extremely important.
     Autobytel.com, the global leader in online automotive commerce, was one of
 the first Internet companies to take a stake in the $363 billion used car
 market by offering used car purchasing over the Internet, and has recently
 broadened its used vehicle program, CyberStore.  "We have instituted new
 processes in our used car program to meet this increasing demand for used cars
 and trucks," said Autobytel.com President and CEO Mark Lorimer.  "For example,
 the size of payments takes on greater importance in the monthly budget when
 the economy slows, so we have added a function that allows consumers to search
 for cars by monthly payment."
     In addition, Autobytel's CyberStore is designed to help relieve tensions
 that often accompany the purchase of a used vehicle by providing comprehensive
 dealer guarantees on certified vehicle listings.  Accredited CyberStore
 Dealers offer certified vehicles with three-month warranties and a 72-hour
 exchange policy, as well as non-certified vehicles.  All certified vehicles in
 the CyberStore must meet state requirements for inspection and emissions, and
 the site provides free "lemon checks" and extra vehicle history reports.
     Autobytel.com CyberStore consumers have multiple options to help them find
 the exact used car or truck they are looking for, including search by make and
 model, search by vehicle type, search by geographic location as well as price
 and monthly payment.  With the ability to search from thousands of certified
 and non-certified used vehicles, used-car buyers can choose from vehicles of
 every description, priced from as little as $1,000 to as much as $100,000.
     "When you want a used car, you can go to ten dealerships and never really
 find what you're looking for," said Autobytel.com customer Mary McCoig.
 "Autobytel took my criteria and matched me up with a dealer in minutes.  You
 could spend two weeks on the phone trying to do that and fail.  I did it in
 20 minutes on the Internet."
     The CyberStore also provides consumers with two windows of essential
 car-buying information.  The top window displays the vehicle search results,
 while the bottom window provides specific details on each vehicle, including a
 digital picture, mileage information, pricing and other important information.
 CyberStore visitors are able to research and compare listings to help them
 find a used vehicle that fits their specific needs and budget.
     According to Opinion Research, of the adults surveyed, nearly two thirds
 (64%) said they use the Internet.  Eighty-three percent of those living in
 households earning $50,000 or more indicated they used the Internet compared
 to 55 percent in households earning $50,000 or less.
 
     About autobytel.com inc.
     autobytel.com inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), the global leader in online automotive
 commerce, brings car buyers, owners, and sellers together in a trusted
 environment, empowered by the Internet.  Through its extensive automotive
 content and multiple purchasing, financing, insurance and service options,
 Autobytel offers consumers choice and peace of mind throughout the automotive
 lifecycle, while providing its network of accredited dealers and automotive
 services partners the most efficient way to reach online car buyers and
 owners.  Autobytel and its wholly-owned subsidiary, A.I.N. Corporation
 (Carsmart), have a network of dealers nationwide and are the seventh largest
 generator of automotive sales in the United States, just behind GM, Ford,
 DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan.  Autobytel has been ranked #1 in
 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services for three years in a row by
 J.D. Power and Associates.(1)  Autobytel's low-cost, no-haggle car-buying
 program is available in the U.S., Canada (www.autobytel.ca), the United
 Kingdom (www.autobytel.co.uk), Sweden (www.autobytel.se), Netherlands
 (www.autobytel.nl), Japan (www.autobytel-japan.com), Australia
 (www.autobytel.com.au) and Spain (www.autobytel.es).  Headquartered in Irvine,
 California, Autobytel is recognized as the company that transformed the
 $1 trillion new car industry when it invented online car buying.
 
     (1) J.D. Power and Associates 1998 - 2000 Dealer Satisfaction With Online
 Buying Services Studies(SM).  2000 study conducted among dealership Internet
 specialists who completed 2,144 evaluations of individual services.
 www.jdpower.com.
 
     The statements contained in this press release that are not historical
 facts are forward-looking statements under the federal securities laws.  These
 forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and
 involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to
 predict.  Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is
 expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements.  Autobytel
 undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements,
 whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  Among the
 important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from
 those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements are changes
 in general economic conditions, increased or unexpected competition, the
 failure to realize anticipated synergies related to the proposed merger with
 Autoweb, failure to obtain required stockholder or regulatory approvals or the
 merger not closing for any other reason, failure of the combined company to
 retain and hire key employees, difficulties in successfully integrating the
 parties' businesses and technologies and other matters disclosed in
 Autobytel's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Investors
 are strongly encouraged to review our annual report on Form 10-K for the year
 ended December 31, 2000, and other reports on file with the Securities and
 Exchange Commission for a discussion of risks and uncertainties that could
 affect operating results and the market price of our stock.
 
 SOURCE  autobytel.com inc.