Tony Thorstad, Internet Sales Director of Smart Motors Toyota, Named Autobytel Dealer of the Month; Dealer of the Year Awards

  Tony Thorstad, Internet Sales Director of Smart Motors Toyota, Named
  Autobytel Dealer of the Month; Dealer of the Year Awards Slated for January

Autobytel honors exceptional dealers from a competitive field of thousands of
  automotive retailers for outstanding Internet lead management and customer
                              service standards

NADA 2014

Business Wire

IRVINE, Calif. -- November 20, 2013

Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), the company dedicated to connecting automotive
consumers with dealers, has named  Tony Thorstad, Internet Sales Director of
Smart Motors Toyota in Madison, Wisconsin, the Autobytel Dealer of the Month
for September 2013.

The company’s Dealer Awards Program honors exceptional Autobytel dealers who
employ the highest standards in customer service and Internet automotive
retail sales and lead management processes. The Autobytel Dealer of the Year
Award is slated to be announced at the NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans
in January 2014, with the crowning dealer chosen from this year’s pool of
monthly winners.

Tony joins Patti Scipione of M’Lady Nissan, Paul LeRose of Pauly Toyota, Tim
Morgan of Radley Acura, Steve Roberts of Crown Motors Redding, Kenny Jakel of
Lee Johnson Kia, and Rese Ballou of Hendrick Toyota Scion—who were named the
Autobytel Dealers of the Month for March, April, May, June, July and August
2013—in that pool of winners.

“Tony and the Smart Motors Toyota team truly understand the needs of today’s
car buyers and how to meet those needs to guide people to the perfect car,”
said Jeff Coats, president and CEO of Autobytel Inc. “They approach the sales
process from a consumer point of view versus a dealer point of view which is a
key reason they’ve enhanced and grown their business since 1908 to become the
largest Toyota dealer in the state of Wisconsin. Smart Motors Toyota is a
legacy in this industry yet it continues to innovate as a leader in online
automotive retail sales. We’re pleased to honor them as an 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.

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.

“We understand what it takes to be successful online and we know that an
effective sales process does something ‘for’ the customer, not ‘to’ the
customer,” said Thorstad. “It’s really about asking the right questions to
guide people to the right car. I think it’s wonderful to be recognized for a
job well done and I commend my teammates for getting us where we are today.
We’ve maximized our online advertising and marketing dollars with the
development of our Internet BDC, in choosing partners like Autobytel, and
through social media, photography, quality vehicle content and owner loyalty

Smart Motors Toyota has been serving the Madison, Wisconsin market area since
1908. The family owned-and-operated store employs over 260 people and is one
of the longest standing dealerships in the nation. In 2008, Smart Motors
Toyota completed construction of a beautiful new showroom and is in the
process of adding another 50,000 square feet to its dealership to accommodate
the growth of its customer base and to better serve area car buyers. Smart
Motors Toyota also excels at the service and repair side of its business,
successfully processing over 6,000 repair orders each month. It recently
finished construction of one of the largest body shops in the state of

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

For more information about the September 2013 Autobytel Dealer of the month,
Tony Thorstad, visit the “Dealer Corner” at
Visit to learn about the company's leading automotive
information, products and services; watch exclusive new car videos, test
drives and car reviews at Autobytel’s YouTube page; or join the conversation on the Autobytel
Facebook Fan Page

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


Autobytel Inc. Media Relations
Splash Media
Jennifer Lange
Autobytel Inc. Investor Relations
Curtis DeWalt
Chief Financial Officer
PondelWilkinson Inc.
Roger Pondel/Laurie Berman
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