Autobytel.com generates more vehicle sales online than any other web site according to J.D. Power and Associates’ 2001 New Autoshopper.com Study.

It’s the third year that J.D. Power cited Autobytel.com as the market share leader among independent online research and buying services. Autobytel.com is one of four web site properties of Autobytel Inc.

The study indicates that automotive Internet users lean towards independent, third-party web sites. Manufacturer sites were the preferred choice for looking up vehicle facts, such as options and features information. Independent sites were preferred for anything related to pricing or buying.

The study is based on responses from more than 26,400 consumers who purchased new 2001 and 2002 model year vehicles.

Currently, 62% of new-vehicle buyers are turning to the Internet for automotive information while shopping for their vehicle. That represents an eight percentage-point growth in automotive Internet usage this year, up from 54% in 2000.

Industry-wide, 6% of all new vehicles were sold through an online buying service. That’s up from 4.7% in 2000.