IRVINE, Calif. — Autobytel Inc., a provider of online consumer leads and marketing services to the auto industry, announced Monday the expansion of its new-car leads program to include inventory-based leads powered by, an automotive search and advertising platform.

The expansion of the new car leads program is the latest in a series of initiatives from Autobytel to generate higher lead conversion for its dealer network and is specifically designed to help member dealers reach online in-market car buyers.

“Autobytel is pleased to join with Vast to be one of the first to offer dealers new car leads from the growing number of in-market car buyers who are searching and requesting a vehicle from their existing inventory on the Web’s top automotive sites, such as AOL, CarDomain, and AutoMedia,” said Autobytel COO Mark Garms.

“With the specificity of these leads providing the opportunity for higher closing ratios and more efficient use of dealer resources, an industry shift to include inventory-based, new car models is clearly on the horizon,” he added.

As part of Autobytel’s new car leads program, the vehicle inventory of dealers will be automatically listed across the network, which includes the inventory sections of leading automotive websites such as AOL Autos, Overstock Cars, and AutoMedia. Because the VIN number is included in each inventory-based consumer lead transmitted to Autobytel dealers, they will know which vehicle in their inventory consumers are considering, and each inventory-based lead is guaranteed to be exclusive.

In addition, Autobytel’s inventory-based new car leads will be processed through the company’s quality verification system and will benefit from Autobytel’s multi-pronged lead follow-up treatments, including rapid response, custom messaging and e-mail manager. The program is pay-for-performance, so dealers only pay for the leads that they get.

Garms noted that this enhancement to the Autobytel’s new car lead program is a natural extension of the success of Autobytel's used car program.