Chris Baughman, General Manager and Co-owner of Sunset Honda, Named the Autobytel February 2014 Dealer of the Month

Dealer of the Month logo
Autobytel Inc. logo

Autobytel Dealer Awards Program honors exceptional dealers for outstanding Internet lead management and customer service standards.

To tweet this release and to celebrate, click #ABTLDealerStars

IRVINE, Calif., April 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, has named Chris Baughman, General Manager and Co-owner of Sunset Honda in San Luis Obispo, California, the Autobytel Dealer of the Month for February 2014.

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 Autobytel 2014 Dealer of the Year Award is slated to be announced in January 2015 at the NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco – when Autobytel officially celebrates its 20th Anniversary – with the crowning dealer chosen from this year's pool of monthly winners.

Chris joins Frank Carrasquillo, General Sales Manager of Mercedes-Benz of Naples, Florida– who was named the Autobytel Dealer of the Month for January 2014 – in that pool of winners.

"Chris and his team strive to give every customer the highest level of service, which is why they have been so successful in their market," said Jeff Coats, President and CEO of Autobytel Inc. "Sunset Honda has been an Autobytel dealer for nearly 15 years and this longstanding history has enabled it to fully optimize its Internet business. What's more, Chris and his team are process-driven and deeply involved with the local community. Bottom line, the dealership is a standout."

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. The company launched its Dealer Awards Program at the beginning of 2013, honoring monthly winners throughout the year and in markets throughout the U.S.

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.

"The key to our success is really just having a good process," said Baughman. "We understand that an Internet customer is no different than a customer who walks into the dealership or calls the showroom directly. When a dealer provides a very high level of service to all customers, they really appreciate it. We've been with Autobytel for 15 years, and have never received this recognition from them, so it's really exciting to be named an Autobytel Dealer of the Month."

A family owned store opened in 1979, Sunset Honda is a single point Honda dealership in San Luis Obispo, California, home to California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). It also operates an Acura store in Ventura, California. Its customers consist of many Cal Poly faculty members and alumni, as well as residents from California's Central Coast, and customers from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as Los Angeles.

Named Top Rated New Car Leads in 2013 by DrivingSales; a finalist of the 2013 DrivingSales Most Valuable Insight Award; both a Power 250 Company and a Major Player in the Used Car Industry by Auto Remarketing Magazine; and # 1 Dealers' Choice Awards in 2012 by Auto Dealer Monthly, 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 the Autobytel Dealer Awards program, visit the "Dealer Corner" at To learn more about the February 2014 Autobytel Dealer of the Month, Chris Baughman, visit

Visit to learn about the company's leading automotive information, and products and services. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube to stay connected to our latest news.

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 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

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

Source:Autobytel Inc.