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Photo Release -- Rese Ballou of Hendrick Toyota Scion Named Autobytel's Inaugural Dealer of the Year Award Winner

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Dealer of the Year
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Ballou is honored from a competitive field of thousands of exceptional dealers for outstanding Internet lead management and customer service standards







To tweet this release and to celebrate, click #ABTLDealerStars

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, has named Rese Ballou, Business Development Manager of Hendrick Toyota Scion in North Charleston, South Carolina, the first Autobytel Dealer of the Year for 2013.

A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=23278

The company's Dealer Awards Program honors exceptional #ABTLDealerStars who employ the highest standards in customer service and Internet automotive retail sales and lead management processes. The inaugural Autobytel Dealer of the Year Award winner was selected from the 2013 pool of monthly winners, including:

(December 2013) Anthony Musero of Liberty Toyota Scion in Burlington, New Jersey
(November 2013) Greg Sexton of Walter's Audi in Riverside, California
(October 2013) Tanner Hulette of Mechanicsville Toyota in Mechanicsville, Virginia
(September 2013) Tony Thorstad of Smart Motors Toyota in Madison, Wisconsin
(August 2013) Rese Ballou of Hendrick Toyota Scion in North Charleston, South Carolina
(July 2013) Kenny Jakel of Lee Johnson Kia in Kirkland, Washington
(June 2013) Steve Roberts of Crown Motors in Redding, California
(May 2013) Tim Morgan of Radley Acura in Falls Church, Virginia
(April 2013) Paul LeRose of Pauly Toyota in Crystal Lake, Illinois
(March 2013) Patty Scipione of M'Lady Nissan in Crystal Lake, Illinois

"To be named the Autobytel Dealer of the Year from the thousands of exceptional dealers in our network is truly an accomplishment," said Jeffrey Coats, President and CEO of Autobytel Inc. "We are incredibly proud of Rese and her team, as well as all of the monthly award winners. Of the criteria evaluated for this award, Hendrick Toyota Scion excelled in virtually every key area. The dealership understands the importance of focusing on the appointment and not the car, the art of the personal touch when it comes to the sales process, and the fundamentals of relationship building to successfully manage Internet customers. They deserve this award."

Each month, Autobytel's sales and dealer operations teams evaluate prospective candidates from a competitive field of thousands of automotive retailers in the Autobytel network, with a monthly winner selected based on key online automotive best practices. Criteria evaluated for the Autobytel Dealer Awards Program include conversion rates, lead management processes, customer service principles, customer and brand retention analytics and Internet department practices, among others.

"It's an honor to be recognized as Autobytel's first Dealer of the Year," said Ballou. "There are so many talented, driven and inspiring dealers on this list, which makes this award that much more valuable. I have the utmost respect for the professionals in this industry, for Autobytel, and for this distinction. I'm so proud of my team at Hendrick Toyota Scion, and I'm thrilled to be accepting this award on their behalf."

Hendrick Toyota Scion is located in North Charleston, South Carolina, servicing customers in the greater Charleston area, including the surrounding communities of Summerville, Moncks Corner and Goose Creek. The dealership also services Charleston Naval Weapons Station military personnel and nearby Boeing employees. It's the largest Toyota dealership in the state.

Named #1 Dealers' Choice Awards in 2012 by Auto Dealer Monthly, a finalist of the 2013 DrivingSales Most Valuable Insight Award, and a Power 250 Company by Auto Remarketing Magazine, Autobytel consistently ranks as a top quality Internet lead provider, with the company's internally-generated leads converting at approximately three times the rate of the estimated industry average.

For more information about all of the 2013 monthly winners, including Rese Ballou, visit the "Dealer Corner" at http://dealer.autobytel.com/dealer-corner/. Visit www.autobytel.com to learn about the company's leading automotive information, and products and services.

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About Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Inc. provides high quality consumer leads and associated marketing services to automotive dealers and manufacturers throughout the United States and offers consumers robust and original online automotive content to help them make informed car-buying decisions. The company pioneered the automotive internet in 1995 with its flagship website www.autobytel.com and has since 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.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at http://investor.autobytel.com/alerts.cfm.

CONTACT: Autobytel Inc. Media Relations Splash Media Jennifer Lange 949-916-4820 jlange@getsplashmedia.com or Autobytel Inc. Investor Relations Curtis DeWalt Chief Financial Officer 949-437-4694 curtisd@autobytel.com or PondelWilkinson Inc. Roger Pondel/Laurie Berman 310-279-5980 investor@pondel.com

Source:Autobytel Inc.