Industry News & Trends

Autobytel Sells AVV, does this mean more money for the infamous

I know I already posted Dominion Enterprises Acquires AVV and its WebControl ILM / CRM a few days ago but the feedback being left by everyone was more about rather then WebControl (though that was my own fault), so I thought I would turn it into a separate posting and transfer everyones comments over here.

Autobytel Sells AVV Business for $22.75 Million in Cash – this is the press release from the other side.

Here is a quote taken from the press release…

“The sale of our CRM business continues our strategy of divesting our non-core operations as we complete our transition to a media-centric business,” said Autobytel Inc. President and CEO Jim Riesenbach. “We continue to sharpen our focus on our recently-launched flagship website,”

Flagship? I don’t know about you, but drives me crazy. I find myself easily lost on the site and always clicking on the main logo to get back to the home page. I can’t seem to grasp exactly what the site is for?…community networking, vehicle data base for search, vehicle research or what? And I don’t see how they could possibly fit any more ads on the site.

Autobytel describes as the…

“first vertical search experience for the automotive marketplace. “ 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.” Vertical Search Experience?

Nice try! Hopefully they’ll use some of that money they made selling AVV and hire someone to fill in their description tags so consumers can actually find the site in the search sngines.

<title>New, Used Car prices, reviews and dealers at</title>

<meta name=”description” content=”” />
<meta name=”keywords” content=”” />


Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
You can just feel the Suits at running it. It lacks "attitude".

Trying to

Gotta love DR!

  • M
  • January 30, 2008
Boy it would have been nice if this sale would have happened 3 months ago when the company had their last RIF, costing 40 people their jobs.

It's no secret Autobytel is losing money every quarter so this sale will give them a few more quarters in which to continue losing money. MyRide was a catastrophe last summer when they tried to launch it. A perfect case of how outsourcing ends up costing you more money than you could have ever spent doing it right the first time.

Jeff, you're spot on when you speak to how frustrating the MyRide site is. They so want it to be the next Facebook. Plus how is it supposed to drive more traffic when no one outside the industry knows about it. They spent 10's of thousands of dollars promoting it in the automotive press, but none of those eyeballs are going to ever be an organic Autobytel lead.

In any event, hopefully this will prove a good move for AVV.
myride = myouch

Bet there is some boardroom drama going on over there.
The suits who pushed this MyRide drivel thru are now back peddling and talking about "longer time lines" to mature.

Actually, I haven't been to myride in months. Looks like they're shedding the street attitude community angle and going more corporate. It's a better fit for them. The Problem is that this space is quite full. (kbb, edmunds, etc..)

We had Eric Cotter, Product Manager of weigh in before, Eric, you still with us? Where are you taking MyRide Now?
  • H
    Hewlett P
  • January 30, 2008, should be

To think was scared of this concept! Shows you how in tune they really are! LMAO!
  • C
  • January 30, 2008
Meh. The meta tags issue is a small one. Sites like this have little content that search engines are interested in.

Does anyone know why uses the Vast API instead of the Autobytel database? I sure don't.

Does anyone know why the search box on the homepage doesn't search the "research" and classifieds sections of the site? I sure don't.

Joe your graph is funny to look at, but would you really expect a new site to compete with an established authority?
C'mon CS,
It sure puts a light on how much cash they have to dump in it to become an "established" YACWFUC.


They need a big media partner... BAD.

All this money being made (or lost) with a 'nothing-new' effort. It sickens me.
  • C
  • February 2, 2008
Joe I'm not so sure that money is all is needed. Sites that are easy to use are successful, and very few car shopping sites are. Dealers shouldn't have to put their URLs in images in order to help customers find their websites. Car sites don't understand tracking funnels so they blackout features instead of managing them properly.

Garbage in, garbage out. This is the same shit I can get on any other site with brighter colors.
  • G
    Glen Garvin
  • February 13, 2008
While it may not look good for myride on the service, the model is not bad. Searching for a vehicle on a portal is not rocket sciece. The market from a consumer standpoint is saturated. You have an abundance of choice. More choice is good but what will make something stand out is the content outside of the search results, the search criteria and accuracy and the overall efficiency. That's one thing that I think Vast has done well.

The social network/ user review part is going to gain more and more momentum. I don't think it'll be dealer rater... maybe carfolks will have the content and model. But maybe, just maybe myride will hang on long enough to be the dark horse winner?
  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • February 23, 2008
Can you believe that the people over at have yet to fill in their "description" tag? Must be more important things to get gone.