IRVINE, Calif. — Automotive Internet company Autobytel announced last week it has made a strategic investment in GoMoto, a technology company that has developed car-shopping HUBs designed to connect consumers with dealers. GoMoto will utilize Autobytel's investment to expand its development team and commercial efforts nationwide.

For consumers, the large touchscreen HUBs bridge the gap between online shopping and the in-dealership experience, enabling car buyers to digitally browse new- and used-car inventory, research, build and price vehicles at their own pace, with sales staff nearby to provide assistance when needed.

The cloud-based HUBs are fully customizable, and are designed to improve the overall Sales, BDC, F&I, and Service experience.

“Working with GoMoto is just one more way Autobytel is helping to enhance the car buying and selling experience for consumers and dealers,” said Jeff Coats, president and CEO of Autobytel. “The large in-store displays powered by GoMoto turn up the volume on the iPad shopping experience that exists today. The HUB information is also accessible via smartphones and tablets from outside the showroom. This capability offers dealers yet another touch point to in-market customers who are actively shopping their brands.”

In addition to browsing inventory and building vehicles, customers can value their trade-in, and research sales, specials and financing, and warranty information. They can also request test drives and schedule service appointments. Dealers can check customers in through license scanning technology, and source and manage leads. This information is then fully integrated into the dealer's CRM system.

“Autobytel has built a 20-year reputation as an industry innovator, so it makes perfect sense for us to work together to offer consumers and dealers a satisfying, high-tech in-store experience,” said Todd L. Marcelle, CEO of GoMoto. "Today, 90% of vehicle shoppers use digital channels to research a vehicle and 80% visit a dealership. Our technology simply bridges the gap between both experiences."