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Auto Site Autobytel Cuts Staff; Put Up a For Sale Sign

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Online auto site Autobytel, based in Irvine, CA, has laid off about 75 employees under a cost-cutting plan it began last year, it said, citing, as usual, the economy. These represent about 35 percent of its work force. It has also hired RBC Capital Markets to explore a possible sale of the company. "We believe our current stock price as well as overall market conditions are conducive to, and have driven, increased interest in Autobytel from various third parties," Autobytel CEO Jim Riesenbach said in a statement.

The company will record $2.2 million during Q3-Q4 related to severance and other employee-related costs. It expects to save about $10 million each year as the result.  In Q2, the company reported revenues of around $19 million, down from $21.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

By Rafat Ali