NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- John Honiotes, a pioneer in using the Internet to sell cars, died on Tuesday, May 3, at age 63.
Honiotes developed methods for dealers and auto executives to obtain Internet leads and to organize dealership departments to turn those leads into sales.
He was the original national sales director at Autobytel.com, a California company, in the 1990s. He showed that leads derived from a growing number of Internet car shoppers could complement business from other media and walk-in traffic.
"John helped shape the careers of an entire generation of auto executives," said Dale Pollak, founder of vAuto, a leader in vehicle inventory-management software.
Born in Joliet, Ill., Honiotes had a passion for cars, becoming the principal in a Cadillac dealership at the age of 33.