IRVINE, Calif. and CHATSWORTH, Calif. -- Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), a leader in marketing resources for car dealers and manufacturers, today announced the launch of AutoPilot(SM), a new car buying service for consumers who receive financing from their local credit union or bank. Designed to enhance a positive car buying/selling process for both consumers and car dealers, AutoPilot provides consumers with VIP dealer service and no-haggle pricing, and car dealers with pre-qualified buyers. Autobytel also announced that Autoland, Inc., the nation's largest credit union auto buying service, through its AutolandDirect program, will be AutoPilot's premier partner and will also help power the program with its call center technology.
"Autobytel launched the industry's first Internet car buying program based on the premise that if you provide a positive experience for both consumers and dealers, everyone wins. With the launch of Autobytel's AutoPilot buying service, we are taking that concept to the next level, providing a hassle-free concierge program for consumers and pre-financed car-buyers for dealers,” said Autobytel President and CEO Jeff Coats. "We are also very pleased that our premier partner in AutoPilot is Autoland, whose strong credit union relationships will create a uniquely positive car buying experience for credit union members while they directly support and help increase auto loans to their credit union partners and dealers alike."
AutoPilot provides consumers, credit union members and customers of other automotive lending sources with a media rich, information-empowered online shopping experience and the ability to connect with an Autobytel-certified AutoPilot dealer in their area. AutoPilot dealers have received special training in delivering a VIP experience, which includes supporting pre-approved credit union or other lender source's financing, pre-set appointments and no-haggle pricing.
Designed to ensure a smooth, efficient and positive experience for customers and dealers, AutoPilot works with participating lenders to pre-qualify prospective car-buyers, ensuring that they have financing in place before finalizing their purchase at the dealership. For example, as the premier partner for AutoPilot, Autoland will assist pre-qualified customers in shopping and locating the right vehicles at a participating local AutoPilot dealership. Additionally, Autoland will set dealership VIP appointments for pre-approved car-buyers through its appointment center services.
"Not only did Autobytel pioneer a consumer-friendly car-buying model that continues today, it has also developed one of the most Internet-savvy and consumer-focused networks of car dealers in the industry," said Autoland President Jeff Martin. "We are pleased to be a premier partner in AutoPilot, where credit union members can count on an excellent selection of new and pre-owned vehicles, receive great financing from their credit unions and ultimately receive a great experience.”
Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), a leader in providing online consumer leads and marketing resources to car dealers and manufacturers, pioneered the automotive Internet when it launched autobytel.com in 1995. Today, the company is continuing to offer innovative products and services to help auto dealers and manufacturers sell more new and used cars. Autobytel has helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online. Through its flagship website Autobytel.com®, its network of automotive sites including Autoweb.com®, AutoSite.com®, Car.com(SM), CarSmart.com®, CarTV.com®, and MyRide.com®, and its respected online partners, Autobytel continues its dedication to innovating the industry's highest quality Internet programs to provide consumers with a comprehensive and positive automotive research and purchasing experience, and auto dealers, dealer groups and auto manufacturers with one of the industry's most productive and cost-effective customer referral and marketing programs.
Founded in 1971, Autoland is the auto buying resource of choice for more than 200 Credit Unions nationwide, representing more than eight million Credit Union members. With a dedicated team of skilled staff, Autoland’s value proposition is to serve Credit Unions by assisting members in making educated auto buying decisions and financing their vehicles through their Credit Union. Providing advanced online tools, concierge car-buying services for both new and pre-owned vehicles, a Value Line of lower-cost vehicles, a convenient trade-in process, and a commitment to personalized service, Autoland delivers more than $270 million worth of vehicles to Credit Union members each year. In addition, Autoland’s Retail Remarketing program provides Credit Unions with a service to maximize value for repossessed and surrendered vehicles. Autoland is held by CU Vehicles, LLC., a collaborative credit union service organization (CUSO).
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