John Walters of Lexus of Naperville Named the Autobytel Dealer of the Month for March 2014

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

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IRVINE, Calif., May 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, has named John Walters, Internet Business Development Manager of Lexus of Naperville in Naperville, Illinois, the Autobytel Dealer of the Month for March 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.

John joins Frank Carrasquillo of Mercedes-Benz of Naples, Florida, and Chris Baughman of Sunset Honda in San Luis Obispo, California – who were named the Autobytel Dealers of the Month for January and February 2014, respectively – in that pool of winners.

"John and his team rank high with Lexus as having one of the fastest response times, and all of the store's sales reps receive in-depth training about how best to manage Internet customers," said Jeff Coats, President and CEO of Autobytel Inc. "They understand there really is no delineation between Internet customers or walk-ins, since a majority of their customers have already been online ahead of time. This understanding has been paramount to their success."

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 the way we take an 'always-on' 24/7 approach to managing Internet customers," said Walters. "If you capture a person's attention immediately by responding immediately, you've essentially captured their business."

An Autobytel dealer for 13 years, Walters says being named a Dealer of the Month speaks volumes to the dealership's successful sales process.

"To be a standout among more than 5,000 Autobytel dealers is quite an honor," Walters said. "But it also means we must be doing something right."

Lexus of Naperville is a single point Lexus dealership in Naperville, Illinois, servicing customers in the Western suburbs of Chicago, including Naperville, Wheaton, Aurora, Lisle and Geneva.

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. It was 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.

For more information about the Autobytel Dealer Awards program, visit the "Dealer Corner" at To learn more about the March 2014 Autobytel Dealer of the Month, John Walters, visit

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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 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.