RealTime IT News

Autobytel Launches in Netherlands

[London, ENGLAND] Online automotive dealer Autobytel.com announced over the weekend the launch in The Netherlands of www.autobytel.nl, its third site in Europe and seventh worldwide.

The leading investors in Autobytel Netherlands are Dutch vehicle importer Pon Holdings, publisher De Telegraaf, and insurance company Achmea.

Postbank will offer consumer financing to Dutch car buyers, while other product partners include Centraal Beheer and FBTO for auto insurance.

Mark Lorimer, president and chief executive of Autobytel.com and chairman of Autobytel Europe, observed that nearly 55 percent of Internet traffic consists of non-U.S. surfers. This percentage, he said, would keep growing -- and Autobytel.com had recognized early on the worldwide impact of the online revolution.

"Since 1996, the Autobytel model has spread across the globe, with the launch of Autobytel licensed Web sites in Canada, the U.K., Sweden, Japan, and Australia. We believe the strength of our Netherlands partners will continue the success we've enjoyed with previous launches," said Lorimer.

Autobytel should find a ready market in The Netherlands for its extensive car buying services. According to Internet statistics provider e-Marketer, The Netherlands is one of the best-positioned countries in Europe to succeed in the digital economy on account of its healthy economy, solid telecommunications infrastructure and tech-savvy population.

Autobytel Netherlands is launching with 125 dealers, selling all major car brands and covering the entire country. It offers buying facilities together with financing and insurance.

In parts of Europe, competition among car sites is fierce, with over 600 sites in the U.K. alone. On Monday, U.K. online car retailer OneSwoop announced it will be featuring content from WhatCar.com, the top online car magazine. This will give it a distinct edge in providing instant online car valuations for people who want to sell their existing vehicle.

Looking beyond Europe, Autobytel's Lorimer indicated that Autobytel is currently in active conversations with potential Asian and Latin American partners.