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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: Earnings Prove Online Car Sales Turning Corner

Re: Earnings Prove Online Car Sales Turning Corner
Posted by: Keith Regan 2002-01-27 09:10:26
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Online car sales site Autobytel said it turned its first operating profit in the fourth
quarter and expressed optimism that it could remain profitable during the year ahead. Company
president and CEO Jeffrey Schwartz admitted, however, that as car makers pull back from
the aggressive promotions that marked last fall, Autobytel likely will see flat revenue
growth in the first half of 2002.

Re: Earnings Prove Online Car Sales Turning Corner
Posted by: suzanne_5 2002-02-20 14:19:28 In reply to: Keith Regan
I just purchased my new car through carsdirect.com and had the most wonderful experience. I was leery of making such a large purchase online at first, so I haggled with two separate local car dealers for three weeks, and wasted a lot of time and energy! Neither one could get me the exact car I wanted, and both tried very hard to talk me into buying vehicles from their inventory with many "options" that I didn't want to pay for. Finally, I was fed up enough to pursue the online route, and boy am I glad I did! I picked up my new car yesterday from a different local dealer - and it's the exact car I wanted at a price that was quoted online at $200 below dealer invoice. And, my carsdirect.com salesman informed me of a manufacturer-to-dealer rebate of $500 that neither dealer told me about.

You know, five years ago, I hesitated before making my first airline ticket purchase online. Now, I only purchase airline tickets electronically. I'm certain this will be the same for car buying. There is absolutely no reason to go through the ugly, painful, time-consuming process we've been going through for years.

Re: Earnings Prove Online Car Sales Turning Corner
Posted by: ppetrilli 2002-01-27 09:22:35 In reply to: Keith Regan
The media is still under a belief that many cars are actually sold "online" when reality is that although the transaction may originate online, consumers are still buying vehicles on-site at dealers.

I would be completely shocked if 32% of vehicles are sold online by 2006, as Jupiter suggests. We need to clear on what the definition of an online sale is. A sale through an Autobytel dealer is in most cases, not an online sale.

The clearer we can be on a definition, the closer we are to bringing consumers, dealers and sites such as cars.com and ABT to having realistic expectations and success in using the internet as an integral, but not sole, communication channel in automobile purchases.

There is data to prove that as many consumers will call car dealers after finding them at an online automotive site, as will send them a email. This is a group too large to ignore and this is how the internet is truly coming together with car buying.

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