August 18, 2004, 12:00 AM

For AOL and Autobytel, the race is on for online Hispanic car buyers

Autobytel is teaming up with AOL Latino and launching Automóviles, a new Spanish language auto retail channel for the Hispanic car market.


Segment marketing is very important to auto manufacturers, dealers and third-party advertising sites as they try to build brand loyalty and awareness with online car buyers.

And one of the fast-growing segments of the online car-buying public is Hispanic customers. To appeal to that market, Autobytel Inc., an Internet automotive marketing services company, is teaming up with AOL Latino, the leading Spanish language Internet service provider for U.S. Hispanics, and developing Automóviles, a new Spanish language autos channel.

The new Automóviles channel will serve an exceptionally active online car buying segment, says David Wellisch, vice president and general manager of AOL Latino.

According to the most recent AOL/Roper ASW U.S. Hispanic Cyberstudy released earlier this year, online Hispanic consumers are purchasing new cars at four times the rate of the general population. The study also finds that 46% of online Hispanics are using the Internet to design and customize their car of choice, as well as locate a dealer for that car. Also, about 48% of Hispanics have bought a new car within the last three years.

The new Spanish language autos channel, developed to provide AOL Latino members with comprehensive Spanish language car search and comparison tools, will include expert automotive content, dynamic data and tools, and the ability to submit an online request to buy from a local Autobytel dealer.

Utilizing Autobytel tools and data, AOL Latino members will be able to compare pricing, performance, safety and specifications data across all major auto brands in Spanish.

"With so many Hispanics researching and purchasing cars online, we realized it was key for AOL Latino to provide comprehensive automotive coverage in Spanish to all of its members," says Wellisch. "With the launch of Automóviles channel, we are providing our members with rich content and useful tools to help them make well-informed car buying decisions."

The launch is an extension of Autobytel’s push into the online Hispanic car market. In 2001, the company launched Autobytel En Español, a Spanish language car research portal. “As the U.S. Latino population continues to represent an ever-larger piece of the overall automotive market, our investment in this area will continue to pay off,” says Michael Rosenberg, Autobytel vice president of marketing.


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