Autobytel Bolsters Sales Efforts

Online vehicle marketing company Autobytel Inc. established a new Media Sales Division in an effort to step up efforts to connect marketers with the car shoppers who visit the company’s branded Web sites.

Irvine, Calif.-based Autobytel , which ran into the auto sales slump right along with the car companies, said the division will also work to deepen the relationships the company already has with major U.S. automobile manufacturers that currently advertise with the company.

The company has recently been making a strong effort to come up with marketing ideas and last month it signed a deal that lets visitors to Yahoo Inc.’s automotive area have access to Autobytel’s network of about 6,700 Internet-connected dealerships.

Brian Hafer, vice president of advertising sales and business development, and Tom Hernandez, director of advertising, are spearheading the new division, which is staffed with a team of media sales professionals. Hafer comes to Autobytel through the company’s merger with Autoweb.com, where he served in a similar capacity.

Autobytel’s branded sites, which claim a total of 4 million unique visitors a month, include Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com, Carsmart.com and Autosite.com.

Meanwhile, in another high-tech launch that may help out Detroit, Microsoft’s .NET initiative got an automotive boost today when Reynolds and Reynolds delivered a new suite of solutions to be built on the technology.

Auto industry information management system provider Reynolds and Reynolds, based in Dayton, Ohio, calls its new offering the Reynolds Generations Series.

The company said it encompasses more than 100 applications and services relating to all aspects of auto dealership operations, including Web services, contact management, sales management, finance and insurance, service and parts operations, and business and employee management.

The product suite is aimed at improving integration and cooperation between auto retailers, car companies and automotive consumers.

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