Big Loss for Autobytel in 2006
By Brendan Moore
After losing $6.3 million in 2005, Autobytel lost even more in 2006, notching a $31.5 million loss in 2006, the company announced last month. Concurrent with that announcement was the statement from Autobytel that they were in the process of launching a new website in second quarter 2007 named MyRide.com, which will eventually become the focus of the company’s efforts to turn itself around.
In effect, Autobytel stated that they will abandon their current internet model. The new site is expected to be more consumer-focused and generate higher margins.
Autobytel is one of the pioneers of consumer online auto shopping and makes most of its money from the fees it charges dealers from sales referral fees. As more and more dealers have acquired in-house expertise regarding internet marketing, Autobytel’s fee income from dealers has decreased, thus leading to financial difficulties at the company.
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