Magazine: Web deals aren't great
YONKERS, N.Y. - Consumer Reports magazine said online auto buying services offer convenience, but prices aren't always competitive. The magazine said the traditional way of shopping several dealerships armed with the invoice price can provide better deals than using online services. Staff members used five online buying services to shop for a Mercury Cougar.
AUTOBYTEL REVENUES UP
IRVINE, Calif. - Autobytel.com Inc., a publicly held online auto buying service, reported first-quarter revenues of $8 million, up 73 percent from $4.6 million in the first quarter of 1998. The company also reported a first-quarter net loss of $6.1 million, compared with a loss of $6.9 million in the same period last year.
AUTOWEB LOSS GROWS
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Autoweb.com Inc., a publicly held Internet service that matches customers with dealers, saw revenues climb dramatically in the first quarter, but its net loss rose to $2.4 million, up from a loss of $1.7 million in the same period of last year. Revenues were $5.7 million, up from $2.2 million in the first quarter of 1998.
CARS.COM ADDS SERVICE
CHICAGO - Cars.com, a Chicago-based Internet classified advertising service, has added InsWeb to the advice section of its Web site to provide car shoppers with free auto insurance quotes. Cars.com is owned by eight media companies. InsWeb of Redwood City, Calif., is an Internet service that offers multiple-insurance quotes from 27 carriers. Cars.com also will provide auto classified listings on boston.com, the Web site of the Boston Globe.
COBALT BUYS PARTS UNIT
SEATTLE - The Cobalt Group, which develops dealer Web sites and Internet software, has purchased PartsVoice of Portland, Ore., an online parts locator of original-equipment manufacturer parts. As a result of the transaction, consumers will be able to search for parts on dealer Web sites created by Cobalt.
SERVICES INK AD DEALS
ATLANTA - AutoConnect.com, an Atlanta-based online used-vehicle classified-ad service, signed a $17 million, 26-month agreement to give America Online users direct access to its inventory of 750,000 used cars and trucks. Meanwhile, Cars.com, a Chicago-based new-and used-vehicle classified-ad service, has extended its advertising contract with America Online for one year.