Autobytel Talks Trucks: Pickup Truck Shopping and Buying Highlights...and Trends for the Road Ahead

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| Source: Autobytel Inc.

IRVINE, Calif., April 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The editors at Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, recently released truck shopping and buying highlights, and commentary regarding the road ahead for the popular pickup truck segment.

Consider the following statistics:

  • One in eight vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2013 was a truck.
  • Approximately 90% of trucks sold in 2013 were built by Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors.
  • Every full-size truck sold generates between $8,000 and $10,000 in gross profit for each manufacturer, according to financial services firm Morgan Stanley.

"Full-size pickup trucks are critically important to the overall health of each of the manufacturers," said Michelle Naranjo, Editor-in-Chief of Autobytel Inc. "Right now, we're seeing plenty of movement within the pickup truck segment which is setting the stage for innovation and upheaval in this popular category of vehicles."

Autobytel Truck Shopping Data

In January 2014, across Autobytel's popular consumer website, Autobytel.com, the number of unique users researching the truck category (as a percentage of site traffic) increased approximately 75% compared to the same timeframe a year prior.

The top five makes researched and ranked by percentage of category traffic were:

1) Toyota

2) Chevrolet

3) Ford

4) GMC

5) RAM

Autobytel Truck Buying Data

As we head into the second quarter of 2014, Autobytel evaluated historical truck buying data in Q2 2013 for perspective, based on vehicle registration data from R.L. Polk. Following are highlights.

  • 53% of new truck intenders bought the same brand truck for which they submitted a lead at Autobytel.com (new or used).
  • Toyota had the highest committed percentage of intenders at 76%; Ford had the second highest committed at 57%; and Nissan had the third highest at 55%.
  • 39% of new truck intenders who purchased a truck ended up buying a used truck.
  • Following is data that shows the most popular alternative choices for truck purchases once Autobytel consumers submitted a lead to buy a particular vehicle.
  • Defections from Ford most commonly purchased Toyota and Chevrolet.
  • Defections from Nissan most commonly purchased Toyota.
  • Defections from Toyota most commonly purchased Nissan and Ford.
  • Defections from Chevrolet most commonly purchased Ford, GMC, and Toyota
  • Defections from GMC most commonly purchased Chevrolet.
  • Defections from RAM most commonly purchased Dodge, Ford, and Chevrolet.

Autobytel's Noteworthy Truck News:

  • Pay attention to RAM's debut of the first diesel engine in a light-duty truck (introduced earlier this year). The 3.0-liter diesel V-6 is B20 bio-diesel compatible and is rated to produce 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, enough to tow up to 9,200 pounds of trailer.
     
  • The 2014 Silverado and 2014 Sierra are more powerful, more fuel-efficient, more technologically advanced, and more capable than ever before, but disappointing 2013 sales have led to an erosion of market share. In response, GM is finally offering truck buyers thousands of dollars in rebates and incentives on its redesigned 2014 pickups.
     
  • Ford's move to aluminum construction for the redesigned 2015 F-150 pickup is the most significant change to the full-size truck market in years. As Ford ramps up for the launch of the 2015 F-150, expect big discounts from now until the last of the 2014 models roll off dealer lots.
     
  • Currently trailing the full-size truck pack, the Nissan Titan is going to be redesigned for the 2016 model year and will feature an available Cummins diesel engine. For years, Nissan has been studying the market and the mistakes it made with the original Titan. As such, Autobytel expects a reasonably competitive alternative to the established players.
     
  • People may think of the 2014 Tundra as an also-ran despite the latest upgrades that Toyota has made. However, when all truck manufacturers adopt SAE J2807 towing standards for the 2015 model year, a standard to which Toyota has adhered for years, the genuinely appealing Tundra could potentially win new fans.

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To read the full article, including commentary about the midsize truck segment, luxury-oriented trim levels, fuel economy information, and truck market perspective for the years ahead, visit http://www.autobytel.com/trucks/car-buying-guides/pickup-truck-trends-reflect-innovation-upheaval-in-competitive-segment-123233/.

To view the infographic, visit http://www.autobytel.com/car-blog/infographic-2014-autobytel-data-reveals-trucks-in-competitive-segment-123333/.

To build, shop for, buy, or own one of the trucks on this list, visit Autobytel.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube to stay connected to our latest news.

An infographic accompanying this release is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/29813/file/25665.jpg.

About Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Inc. provides high quality consumer leads and associated marketing services to automotive dealers and manufacturers throughout the United States and offers consumers robust and original online automotive content to help them make informed car-buying decisions. The company pioneered the automotive internet in 1995 with its flagship website www.autobytel.com and has since helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at investor.autobytel.com/alerts.cfm.

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