Autobytel, priceline.com Join Forces

  |  October 4, 2002   |  Comments

The two undertake a joint marketing scheme that opens further carbuying options to priceline.com users, and opens the door for priceline.comto tap the used car market.

Autobytel and priceline.com moved to extend their reach into the online automobile shopping market Thursday with a joint marketing program that will give each company access to the other's traffic.

Through the deal, priceline.com -- which already offers its users the ability to "name-your-own-price" for a new car or truck -- gains access to Autobytel's nationwide dealer network and vehicle inventory, allowing it to give its users two more car buying options.

First, the deal will allow users to obtain a "low, no-haggle/no-hassle" price quote for new and used vehicles from Autobytel's dealer network. In addition, users will be able to shop for used vehicles in Autobytel's consumer classifieds.

"By offering our respective site visitors access to each other's buying models, we can provide one of the most flexible, consumer-friendly car-buying experiences on the Web," said Andrew Donchak, Autobytel executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Through Priceline Autos, priceline.com already had its hand in new cars, but the Autobytel deal opens a new revenue stream by letting it tap into the used car market -- a market that has been expanding online and turned into a tidy revenue generator for eBay . Under the deal, priceline gets a lead generation fee by referring customers to Autobytel.

Under the deal, Autobytel may send its customers to priceline.com, but details of that aspect of the deal have not yet been finalized, according to an Autobytel spokesperson.

Priceline's updated car-buying service is also giving users new options, like the ability to research information about vehicles before they purchase. Users can request the exact model, color and options they want and then see the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), the dealer invoice, and exclusive priceline.com suggestions on what that car is likely to sell for in different parts of the country. In addition, customers can check out rebates and other incentives and review vehicle ratings and crash test results from priceline.com's link to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

In addition, priceline.com now offers auto financing and insurance options.

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