eAuto Runs Out of Gas

B2B auto aftermarket site ceases operations

DALLAS  PRNewswire  January 19, 2001  With e-commerce companies dropping like flies, there's little sympathy left for the floundering e's of the world. But eAuto, the latest to cease operations, gets a considerable amount of tough luck points.

An Internet-based B2B automotive aftermarket parts distributor, eAuto closed its doors recently, after it was unable to secure a second round of funding due to private and public capital market conditions.

The automotive aftermarket is in a lot of pain right now, as evidenced by the valuations Wall Street is placing on the industry's largest companies, said eAuto founder and CEO, Malcolm Davidow. Things will get worse before they get better to the extent the aftermarket does not address the very real challenges it faces in the areas of inventory management, reverse logistics, supply chain integration and electronic cataloging. The key to the success of any technology-centric model today is getting the mechanic to migrate from the telephone to the keyboard. Given that the eAuto model responded to each of those challenges, it is unfortunate the capital market did not recognize that.

Davidow added that numerous investors, analysts and customers confirmed eAuto's business model was sound and that eAuto made exceptional progress on the execution of its strategy.

eAuto debuted in 1996 as a directory suite, but quickly became an automotive-specific directory for the Web. By 1999, it had built a strong aftermarket management team and was securing product directly from more than 20 manufacturers, including Tier 1 OEMs, as well as first- and second-line, aftermarket manufacturers.

eAuto will sell numerous assets that were deployed to support its e-commerce effort, including a robust diagnostics application that was to be released in the near future; a patent-pending, real-time volume pricing program; electronic catalog database management systems and Web site content; as well as the eAuto brand and domain name.