Another acquisition – quite another large one too. Maybe not as large as Dealertrack purchasing Dealer.com, but one that will most likely have some impact on the landscape.
Autobytel Acquires AutoUSA – Subsidiary of AutoNation
Autobytel is no doubt one of those companies that has been around since car dealers and the internet started to mix. They were the first Internet company to advertise during the Super Bowl in 1996. It’s been quite a roller coaster ride since then.
Remember back in 2004 when AutoBytel acquired AVV WebControl (ILM) for $4.8 million in cash and then sold it to Dominion for $22.75 million only 4 years later.
Around the same time AutoBytel and StoneAge.com were competing in the 3rd Party Lead business . Rather compete too long, they bought StoneAge.com (Car.com) for 48 million. Yeah – 48 million 10 years ago.
The financial crisis of 2008 forced the company to reduce costs by laying off a big portion of it’s workforce. At one point it also considered selling itself.
In 2009, Autobytel.com was feeling the pressure from websites like Edmunds.com and brought us MyRide.com – an “automotive search engine”, offering sales listings for both new and used cars and links to just about everything else automotive, Myride.com website and service that was set to start a new chapter for Autobytel during a real down time for the company financially
MyRide.com was quietly shut down (rolled into AutoBytel.com) after only a few years.
After years of a flat stock price, AutoBytel seems to be on a climb. In October 2013, they acquired Advanced Mobile, a provider of innovative mobile communications services designed specifically for the automotive industry. A month later they announced teaming up with SaleMove – company dedicated to connecting consumers with dealers in real-time, using the method most comfortable to them, including live video, audio and text-based chat or by phone.
Come 2014, AutoBytel sets out to consolidate the 3rd Party Lead game by acquiring AutoUSA from AutoNation.
“AutoUSA represents an outstanding fit with Autobytel. In addition to its core leads business, AutoUSA’s suite of complementary third-party, Web-based services includes payment-based pre-qualification tools, incentive programs and other products and services designed to help dealer customers and manufacturers increase their sales,” … Click here for the full press.
Is a consolidation the 3rd Party Lead providers a welcome move for dealers?
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