Autobytel Endorses Neo ION iPod Car Kit
IRVINE, Calif. - Oct. 24, 2005 - Americans love their cars. Americans love their iPods. So how is it, in our famously fast-paced, high-tech economy, that it's still so difficult to play an iPod through a car audio system? In a recent Autobytel online survey, 81% of respondents said they, or someone in their family, owns an iPod, yet only one-third of these iPod users said they've been able to use it successfully in their vehicle. To help these frustrated drivers enjoy iPod-powered road tunes, Autobytel.com has launched a comprehensive "iPod Center" featuring expert tips on the various iPod integration options on the market, a step-by-step installation video, and more.
Autobytel's new iPod Center is available at:
Americans Send Clear Message to Automakers: "Let us Play iPods in Our Cars!"
Autobytel's Auto Information Center (AIC) reports that there are 12 times as many 2006 models with MP3 capability as there were in 2003, and that there are currently 598 new models featuring MP3 player capabilities on the market. But while MP3 plug-ins (which makes it simple to play an iPod) are fast becoming mainstream vehicle equipment, the vast majority of current drivers, who don't own brand-new vehicles, are finding it difficult to "retrofit" their cars - using either cassette- or radio-based adapters - to support iPod usage.
When Autobytel.com asked iPod owners if they've been able to use it in their vehicle, only 33% replied that they've been able to use it "very successfully." The remaining two-thirds indicated that they were either unable to use their iPod in their vehicle (31%), or only somewhat successful in their efforts (36%) - i.e., "The installation wasn't easy, and the results aren't great." When asked to describe their experience of using, or attempting to use, an iPod in their car, the largest bloc of respondents (37%) summed it up as "frustrating - iPods are not easy to install or use in cars."
Only 4% of the online auto shoppers surveyed by Autobytel said the vehicle they drive most often is equipped with an MP3 plug-in (which makes it simple to play an iPod). Yet 75% of all survey respondents said that new vehicles should come equipped with an MP3 plug-in; and 78% claimed they'd be willing to pay extra for an option that provides easy-to-use iPod access in their vehicle.
Autobytel.com iPod Center Helps Music Lovers Plug in and Hit the Road
The Autobytel.com iPod Center covers the pros and cons of the various iPod integration options on the market while offering expert advice on how to get the best results for your money in terms of sound quality, usability and ease of implementation. The iPod Center is also home to a video, produced by Autobytel's rich media content division, CarTV, providing step-by-step installation instructions for a new product (the Neo Ion) that overcomes many the drawbacks - poor sound quality, cumbersome wires, etc. - associated with radio- and cassette-based adapters. In-market car buyers can also access information on 10 affordable vehicles (each under $25,000) that either come with iPod compatibility as a standard feature, or which require only minor upgrades to become iPod compatible.
"Most iPod users find themselves in the frustrating position of having this great mobile audio technology, but few satisfactory options for using it in their cars," said Autobytel Inc. Senior Vice President, Media & Marketing Services Michael Rosenberg. "Autobytel's iPod Center continues Autobytel's mission to empower auto consumers with expert information to enjoy every aspect of vehicle ownership."
CarTV Takes Lead on Auto Consumer Podcasts, Gears up for Video Casting
In addition to helping people learn about how to "iPod their cars," Autobytel is also helping people learn about cars on their iPods, thanks to a range of popular CarTV-produced Podcasts that currently include a weekly automotive news desk, hands-on vehicle maintenance tips and hard-hitting new vehicle reviews. CarTV Podcasts are available through Apple iTunes and the new Yahoo! Podcast search channel, as well as on the CarTV consumer web site, CarTV.com. With the advent of iPod Video Casting, CarTV is also gearing up to provide its original automotive video content to Video iPod users. Visitors to CarTV.com have viewed more than 121,000 hours of original CarTV content (including reviews, editorial features, interviews and auto event coverage) so far in 2005, making the site one of the leading providers of automotive rich media on the Web.
About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc., a leading Internet automotive marketing services company, helps retailers sell cars and manufacturers build brands through marketing, advertising, data and CRM (customer relationship management) products and programs. The Company owns and operates the automotive websites Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com, Carsmart.com, Car.com, AutoSite.com, Autoahorros.com, and CarTV.com, as well as AIC (Automotive Information Center), a trusted industry source of automotive marketing data and technology for over 20 years. Autobytel is also a leader in dealership lead management and CRM solutions and owns and operates AVV, Inc., a top provider of dealership CRM and sales management products, and Retention Performance Marketing, Inc., (RPM(R)), which powers dealerships with cutting-edge customer loyalty and retention marketing programs. Autobytel was the most visited new car buying and research destination in 2004, reaching millions of car shoppers as they made their vehicle buying decisions. Autobytel Inc. is the only company to achieve top rankings for both its lead management and lead generation services among the nation's top 100 Internet dealers.