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Jun 29, 2005

Available Hybrid Models Triple Since 2003, According to Autobytel’s AIC

Available Hybrid Models Triple Since 2003, According to Autobytel’s AIC Irvine, Calif. – June 29, 2005 – Autobytel Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ABTL) Automotive Information Center (AIC) division today released data research for its upcoming report, the Q2 2005 AIC Quarterly QuickView1, featuring updated industry statistics on vehicle equipment and new vehicle models. This second quarterly report focuses on data designed to assist both dealers and consumers with travel options this summer. The Travel Industry Association (TIA) is forecasting a 2.3 percent increase in leisure travel for June, July and August, with 328 million leisure “person-trips.” 2 TIA defines a “person-trip” as one person traveling 50 or more miles, one way, away from home.

Hybrid Evolution
For this Q2 2005 report, AIC analysts first studied trends in hybrid models available for sale in the United States 2003 – 2006.3 AIC found the number of available hybrid models and trims has tripled since 2003, when just six trim types were available on three models. Today, more than 21 trims types are available on a total of nine models. Honda leads the manufacturers in available hybrids, with three models and nine trim types.

While early hybrids were primarily available as compact sedans, AIC notes a definitive trend in applying hybrid technology to larger vehicles. Of the 17 hybrid models now scheduled for release over the next few years, six are SUVs, six are midsized sedans and, for the first time, there will be two in the full-size sedan category.

DVD Player Availability
AIC analysts next reviewed availability of DVD players as both standard and optional feature in 2003 – 2005 model year vehicles. Increasing slightly in 2005, 22 models available in the United States offer DVD players as a standard feature. General Motors leads the manufacturers in this category; currently nine GM models come standard with DVD players. As an optional feature, DVD players increased 39 percent from 2003 – 2005. They are currently available as an option in 19 percent of all vehicles.

Fuel Efficiency


To help travelers identify the most fuel-efficient vehicles available in the market, AIC named models in seventeen categories.4 With a highway fuel efficiency rate of 66 miles per gallon, the most fuel-efficient vehicle was a hybrid economy coupe, the 2005 Honda Insight 5-Spd MT. The most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle was a wagon, the 2005 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which obtains 47 miles per gallon for highway travel.

The 2005 Honda Odyssey turned out to be the most fuel-efficient minivan, with a highway fuel efficiency rate of 28 miles per gallon. For travel enthusiasts looking for both fuel economy and entertainment value, the Odyssey was also one of the 22 models on which a DVD player comes standard.

Complete results for the “most fuel-efficient vehicles” are listed at the end of this document.

“We are pleased to present the second edition of AIC's Quarterly QuickView, which continues Autobytel's tradition of providing updated industry data and statistics to our customers,” said Autobytel Inc. President and CEO Rick Post. “These latest results should prove valuable for all who are looking to ease the inherent problems of highway travel during the summer months.”

Additional information about the topics studied in this AIC Quarterly QuickView may be found on Autobytel.com and Autosite.com, including:

A pioneer in providing the industry with vehicle specification data and technology for manufacturers, dealers and suppliers, AIC manages and analyzes up to 3.3 million data points for every vehicle sold in the U.S.

The AIC Quarterly QuickView is distributed to all AIC customers via hard copy. For complete results, please contact Angela Jacobson at 949-862-3090 or angelaj@autobytel.com.












AIC Quarterly QuickView Results Q2 2005: Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicles
Vehicle ClassModel (2005, except where noted)Hwy Fuel Efficiency (Miles Per Gallon)
Economy CoupeHonda Insight 5-Spd MT66
Compact SedanHonda Civic Hybrid 5-Speed Sedan51
Midsize SedanToyota Prius51
WagonVolkswagen Jetta TDI47
Family CoupeHonda Civic Coupe HX40
Luxury SedanMercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI Sedan37
ConvertibleMINI Cooper Convertible35
Sports CoupeAcura RSX34
Sports SedanToyota Corolla XRS34
Luxury CoupeMercedes-Benz C-Class C230K Sports Coupe32
Sport Utility Vehicle2005-2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD31
Luxury ConvertibleAudi A4 1.8T Cabriolet30
Large SedanChevrolet Impala LS Sedan30
Compact Pickup[TIE] Ford Ranger Regular Cab 4x2; Mazda B2300 Regular Cab 4x229
MinivanHonda Odyssey28
Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle[TIE] Buick Rendezvous Ultra FWD; 2006 Lexus RX 400h27
Full-Size Pickup[TIE] Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab 2WD; GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab 2WD22



1AIC Quarterly QuickView results are based on a study of all 2,168 vehicles available for sale in the U.S. (at the trim level)
2The Travel Industry Association (TIA) and AAA jointly released a summer travel forecast May 18, 2005, foreseeing an increase in leisure and business trips in spite of high gas prices at home
32006 Model Year Data is incomplete. These figures are based on Models available for sale at dealers as of 6/21/05
4Fuel efficiency results are based on miles per gallon for Highway Travel and standard engine/transmission configuration, as reported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The study is based on information supplied to AIC by external sources believed to be reliable, but no responsibility is assumed by AIC or its affiliates for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The study is provided strictly on an “as is where is” basis, and AIC further expressly disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose regarding the study.

About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), a leading Internet automotive marketing services company, helps retailers sell cars and manufacturers build brands through marketing, advertising, data and CRM (customer relationship management) products and programs. The Company owns and operates the automotive websites Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com, Carsmart.com, Car.com, AutoSite.com, Autoahorros.com, and CarTV.com, as well as AIC (Automotive Information Center), a trusted industry source of automotive marketing data and technology for over 20 years. Autobytel is also a leader in dealership lead management and CRM solutions and owns and operates AVV, Inc., a top provider of dealership CRM and sales management products, and Retention Performance Marketing, Inc., (RPM®), which powers dealerships with cutting-edge customer loyalty and retention marketing programs. Autobytel was the most visited new car buying and research destination in 2004, reaching millions of car shoppers as they made their vehicle buying decisions. Autobytel Inc. is the only company to achieve top rankings for both its lead management and lead generation services among the nation’s top 100 Internet dealers.

Media Contacts:
Melanie Webber, Autobytel Inc., 949.862.3090 (melaniew@autobytel.com)
Rose Maciejewski, Ruder Finn, 310-882-4002 (maciejewskir@ruderfinn.com)
Farhanaz Kermalli, Ruder Finn, 310-882-4010 (kermallif@ruderfinn.com)