Ford, Honda, Toyota Sweep 2004 Consumer ChoiceTM Awards
Honda Most Popular Vehicle Overall; Ford #1 Truck, SUV and Sports Car
The Honda Accord was the Most Requested Vehicle Overall for the second year in a row, outpacing the resurgent Ford F-150. Despite falling short on top overall vehicle honors, Ford made an impressive showing in several vehicle categories. The F-150 led the way as the Most Requested Truck for 2004, outpacing the Chevy Silverado, the Most Requested Truck for 2002 and 2003. The Ford Explorer, meanwhile, was named Most Requested SUV, edging out the Chevy Tahoe and the Ford Expedition. The Mustang completed the Ford 'trifecta,' defending its title as the Most Requested Sports Car despite a strong run by the Mazda RX-8.
Scion Comes of Age with Biggest Year-Over-Year Gains
Driven by an Internet-heavy marketing mix, Toyota's youth brand, Scion, generated the largest year-over-year gain in Purchase Requests of any make. As indicated by its torrid 2004 Purchase Request increase, Scion has found a prime audience in Autobytel car buyers, given that the 76% of all car buyers under age 40 are Automotive Internet Users4 and the average Scion buyer is 35.
BMW 3 Takes Luxury Crown; Toyota Sienna Upsets Honda Odyssey in Minivan Category
In other categories, the BMW 3 Series edged out the Lexus RX to become the Most Requested Luxury Vehicle in '04, continuing the popularity of smaller, less expensive luxury vehicles among Autobytel shoppers. The biggest upset may have been in the minivan category, where the Toyota Sienna unseated category stalwart, the Honda Odyssey, for Most Requested Minivan honors. On its way to becoming the Most Requested Vehicle Overall, the Honda Accord was named Most Requested Passenger Car, beating out the Nissan Altima, a consistent Autobytel customer favorite.
"2004 was an extremely competitive year for the industry, with a record number of nameplates and a host of successful vehicle entries," said Autobytel Inc. President and CEO Jeffrey Schwartz. "It was also the first year in which half of make/model decisions were influenced by the Internet.5 Congratulations to all of our Consumer Choice Awards winners for winning the competitive marketing battle on this increasingly pivotal marketing front."
2004 Autobytel Consumer Choice Awards Winners
#1 Overall Most Requested New Vehicle - Honda Accord
#1 Overall Increase Vehicle Requests (vehicle brand) - Scion
Most Requested New Truck - Ford F-150
Most Requested New Passenger Car - Honda Accord
Most Requested New SUV - Ford Explorer
Most Requested New Luxury Car - BMW 3 Series
Most Requested New Sports Car - Ford Mustang
Most Requested New Minivan - Toyota Sienna
For a detailed summary of Consumer Choice Awards trends, a year-to-year analysis of Purchase Requests and photos of the winning vehicles, please contact Joe Foster at 323.960.1360, ext. 13.
1 According to the most recent comScore Media Metrix report, Autobytel Inc. was the most visited automotive destination on the Web in the fourth quarter of 2004, attracting an average of 8.9 million monthly unique users.
2 Online car buyers submit vehicle Purchase Requests through Autobytel to local dealers once they intend to buy a specific vehicle. The Autobytel Consumer Choice Awards are based on the volume of vehicle Purchase Requests submitted (with an intent to buy) by online shoppers through Autobytel's network during 2003.
3 2004 J.D. Power & Associates New Autoshopper.com Study
4 2004 J.D. Power & Associates New Autoshopper.com Study
5 2004 J.D. Power & Associates New Autoshopper.com Study
About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTLE), 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, Car.com, Carsmart.com and AutoSite.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. As the Internet's largest new car buying service, Autobytel generates over a billion dollars a month in car sales for dealers through its services and 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's car-selling sites and lead management products are used by more of the nation's top-100 e-dealers than any other program.
Autobytel Inc. Media Relations
Melanie Webber, Autobytel Inc., 949.862.3023 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Betsy Smith Isroelit, RBI Communications, 323.960.1360, ext. 17 (email@example.com)
Joe Foster, RBI Communications, 323.960.1360, ext. 13 (firstname.lastname@example.org)