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Shawn Veronese, General Sales Manager of Maserati of Newport Beach, Named the Autobytel December 2014 Dealer of the Month

Maserati of Newport Beach uses Autobytel's TextShield product to communicate with upscale exotic luxury car buyers the way they prefer, in a compliant platform



To tweet this release and to celebrate, click #ABTLDealerStars

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, has named Shawn Veronese, General Sales Manager of Maserati of Newport Beach, the Autobytel Dealer of the Month for December 2014.

The company's Dealer Awards Program honors exceptional #ABTLDealerStars who employ the highest standards in customer service and digital automotive retail sales and lead management processes, and a commitment to mobile and emerging technologies.

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

Shawn joins Tom Gregg of Toyota of Naperville in Naperville, Illinois; Todd Hilleboe of Liberty Toyota in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Linda Ly of Norm Reeves Honda Superstore in Cerritos, California; Eric Wass of Heuberger Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Jackie Parker of Patriot Subaru in Saco, Maine; Chad Bravender of Larry H. Miller Honda in Boise, Idaho; John Walters of Lexus of Naperville in Naperville, Illinois; Frank Carrasquillo of Mercedes-Benz in Naples, Florida; and Chris Baughman of Sunset Honda in San Luis Obispo, California – who were named earlier 2014 Autobytel Dealer of the Month winners – in that pool of candidates.

"Shawn is a dynamic manager who is innovative in her approach to mobile and emerging technologies," said Jeff Coats, President and CEO of Autobytel Inc. "In addition to providing an unparalleled sales and service experience, the Maserati of Newport Beach team has implemented TextShield into their sales process which has enhanced communications with their clients to improve the car buying experience and ultimately drive sales. We're pleased to round out the year by naming these technology innovators as the Autobytel Dealer of the Month."

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 a commitment to mobile and emerging technologies, conversion rates, lead management processes, customer service principles, customer and brand retention analytics, and Internet department practices, among others.

"Mobile has become an extremely important component in car sales, and today's consumers prefer to communicate by text," said Veronese. "We approached Autobytel to implement TextShield which has enabled us to communicate with our clients in the manner they prefer – while texting compliantly in the process. We also incorporated text calls-to-action into our marketing materials to offer our customers multiple digital touch points to our dedicated sales and service staff."

Veronese says the Autobytel Dealer of the Month Award is a prestigious distinction.

"I have been affiliated with Autobytel for the past 20 years through my work at dealerships around this area, so it means a lot to be recognized by a company with which I've had a longstanding relationship – by a company that continues to innovate through mobile and other emerging technologies," she said. "Maserati of Newport Beach is 100% committed to making sure our customers are provided with an experience that exceeds their expectations in a competitive market and we're honored that Autobytel recognizes just how committed we are. It's an exciting time to successfully manage relationships with our brand enthusiasts, while introducing new customers to the Maserati brand which just celebrated its 100th Anniversary."

Maserati of Newport Beach, California, has a deep history of servicing customers in the Orange County market and surrounding areas, having launched in 2002. It is the nation's largest Maserati-dedicated dealership, and its service and repair facility in neighboring Costa Mesa, California, is one of the nation's only factory-certified facilities in the country.

Autobytel consistently ranks as a top quality digital 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 http://dealer.autobytel.com/. To learn more about the December 2014 Autobytel Dealer of the Month, Shawn Veronese, visit http://dealer.autobytel.com/dealer-corner/autobytel-dealer-spotlight-shawn-veronese-maserati-of-newport-beach/.

Visit http://dealer.autobytel.com/auto-dealer-lead-products/ and http://mobile.autobytel.com 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 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 Cody Slach or Sean Mansouri Liolios Group, Inc. 949-574-3860 abtl@liolios.com

Source:Autobytel Inc.