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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 03/11/2011 09:17 PM

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Market Definition: Automotive Users Market Size: More than $1 trillion

Industry Trends:

- The entire auto retailing industry including sales (new and pre-owned), service, and parts exceeded $1 trillion per year, with $670 billion from sales.

- Big “Superstores” are also entering into the internet automotive business, which targeted at high unit volume and smaller profit margins.

- While 40% of all new car purchases in the first quarter were researched online, fewer than 3% of all new cars sold were purchased using an online service

- More than 28% of all dealerships were using online buying services by 1999 – nearly triple the percentage in 1998

SWOT Analysis

Strength | Evidence | Implications |

Provides dealer support | Autobytel owned a university to train dealers how to interact with their customers. | This measure shows that Autobytel renders support to its dealers by enriching them with methods that may be helpful for the dealers to close deals more easily. As the dealers are also Autobytel’s clients, providing existing dealers with such support may attract new dealers to join the network too. |

High brand awareness | Autobytel led the competition in terms of branding with awards like being 1st in automotive e-commerce brand awareness | The high brand awareness can help Autobytel to introduce its service expansions more easily to the public. |

Variety of services | Autobytel expanded its services to areas such as servicing and sales of parts. | Autobytel will be able to cater to a wide range of needs by automotive users, thus providing them with an all-rounded service. Users will be more interested in a membership that provides them with all the automotive services that they require. |

Weaknesses | Evidence | Implications |

Brand positioning no longer competitive | Many other new entrants were also positioning themselves as a low-priced online automotive company | This may require Autobytel to reconsider its current brand...