Autobytel Inc. Debuts MyRide.com: New Online Automotive Search Experience Provides Relief for Consumer Frustration
New Website Makes It Fast and Easy for Consumers to FIND, SEE, BUY and LEARN Anything Automotive and BELONG to a Diverse Community of People Who Have Similar Automotive Interests
IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), the company that created the first online car-buying website more than a decade ago, has officially launched what it expects to be an equally revolutionary automotive site, MyRide.com. The site is designed to connect consumers to all things automotive from across the web, a site where shoppers can find new and used cars, parts and accessories, and service providers; see and share thousands of vehicle photos and automotive-themed videos; learn from the best automotive publishing brands and writers; and belong to communities focused on their unique automotive interests.
“Until now, online automotive communities have largely been limited to hard-core enthusiasts. We intend to open up community opportunities for every type of car fan or lover, eventually creating a huge, diverse pool of consumer-created content to inform visitors’ buying and ownership decisions.”
“MyRide.com is designed to make the entire automotive online experience better for consumers and is the first major automotive site to deeply incorporate search and community – the two most important Internet growth drivers of the past five years,” said Autobytel Inc. President and CEO Jim Riesenbach. “MyRide is a totally unique automotive consumer experience – a much more open and information-rich environment than anything that’s currently available. And with an all new technology platform for the website, it will be able to quickly expand and improve, based on how consumers actually use the site and the types of information they are searching.”
A One-Stop Source for Shoppers, Owners and Car Lovers
MyRide.com addresses the information needs of not only in-market new and used car buyers (who represent a small, but important, percentage of automotive consumers at any given time), but also the vast community of vehicle owners and car lovers. MyRide.com visitors can search through approximately four million used vehicle listings, adjusting their search through filters they can customize to their specific needs; compare reviews from top professional sources and bloggers from across the web; shop for parts and accessories; access a nationwide directory of local service providers; check out thousands of videos (from user-generated movies to pro reviews and motorsports); and join diverse automotive communities. The site also offers a vehicle shopping capability designed to weave videos, reviews, blogs, and multiple, competitive dealership price quotes into the research and buying process. MyRide will tap into Autobytel’s large and growing nationwide network of new and used auto dealers to help deliver consumers low competitive prices, selection and service during their car shopping process.
Antidote for Consumers Who Experience “Search Engine Fatigue”
MyRide.com is designed to overcome the limitations associated with the two predominant current sources of automotive information: big search engines (which tend to provide too much information for people to sift through), and third-party automotive sites (which generally provide too little information to meet users’ needs).
Those “pain points” are widespread. In a recent Kelton Research study, 72.3 percent of consumers report experiencing "search engine fatigue" (i.e., a high level of frustration) when researching a topic on the Internet. The study also finds that more than three out of four of those who experience search engine fatigue get up and physically leave their computer without the information they were seeking.
Finally, an Automotive Community for the People
MyRide.com encourages visitors to build communities around shared car-related interests, including classic cars, tuning, ownership of a certain make/model, various industry and environmental issues, etc. To that end, site visitors can join the MyRide Auto Community (http://community.myride.com) to create blogs, swap car-themed photos, podcasts and videos and even create personal pages showcasing their vehicles as an extension of their personalities in a multi-media environment.
“Community is what will ultimately make MyRide.com live and breathe,” added Riesenbach. “Until now, online automotive communities have largely been limited to hard-core enthusiasts. We intend to open up community opportunities for every type of car fan or lover, eventually creating a huge, diverse pool of consumer-created content to inform visitors’ buying and ownership decisions.”
A “Living, Breathing” Site Designed to Evolve with Consumer Behavior
According to Riesenbach, MyRide.com has been designed to evolve, adapt, and interpret consumer behavior. For example, the site will respond to user questions, create content based on them and, over time, adapt the system to address the interests of its users.
In the months to come, MyRide.com expects to include an even more seamless interweaving of community and content throughout the entire site, deeper search capabilities (with enhanced video and blog search capabilities), and third-party, consumer-generated and blogger reviews from across the web for every make and model.
About Autobytel Inc.
Since launching the first car-buying website in 1995, Autobytel Inc.’s (Nasdaq:ABTL) mission has been to empower automotive consumers with the tools and information they need to make smart, well-informed vehicle purchasing and ownership decisions. The company has helped millions of car shoppers and generated billions of dollars in car sales for dealers. Today, the company’s innovative, consumer-driven flagship site, MyRide.com, expands the company’s mission across the automotive purchase and ownership life cycle. As the first vertical search experience for the automotive marketplace, MyRide.com is designed to help Internet-savvy consumers FIND, SEE, BUY and LEARN anything automotive and BELONG to a diverse community of people who have similar automotive interests
By providing a convenient and comprehensive automotive consumer experience across the purchase and ownership lifecycle, Autobytel provides new value and touch-points for automotive marketers. Through MyRide.com and Autobytel’s marketing network, the company connects dealerships with a steady, diverse stream of exceptionally motivated, serious shoppers, while providing both dealers and manufacturers with precision-targeted brand and product marketing opportunities. The company's advanced web-based advertising and marketing programs also help dealers and manufacturers build relationships with customers, as well as help them to efficiently manage and convert online business.
Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer
The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements under the federal securities laws, including, but not limited to the full launch of MyRide.com this Fall, the ability of MyRide.com to provide value to consumers, auto dealers and manufacturers, and the goal of reaching profitability by the end of 2008 . 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, the economic impact of terrorist attacks or military actions, increased dealer attrition, pressure on dealer fees, increased or unexpected competition, the failure to successfully launch new products and services, failure to retain key employees or attract and integrate new employees, that actual costs and expenses exceed the charges taken by Autobytel, changes in laws and regulations, costs of defending lawsuits and undertaking investigations and related matters 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, 2006, and other filings 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.
 "The State of Search" - compiled by Autobytel Inc. with Kelton Research, October 2007