REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 27, 1997 — In the first of a new series of automotive industry alliances, Microsoft Corp. has reached an agreement with The Reynolds and Reynolds Co. to offer nationwide Internet used car listings on the Microsoftr CarPoint online automotive service (http://carpoint.MSN.com/). Beginning this spring, consumers visiting CarPoint will be able to shop the used car inventories of participating dealers nationwide. Shoppers will be able to search by make, model, price range and geographic preference. Through an automated process, participating dealers will be able to upload their inventories to CarPoint daily using a system that will be more accurate, efficient and economical than any other national car-listing service. Based on the Reynolds and Reynolds relationship, CarPoint plans to expand to other dealer service providers with the goal of reaching the nation’s 17,000 dealerships with computerized inventory systems.
“Microsoft CarPoint is committed to building relationships with the very best organizations in the automotive industry,” said John Neilson, vice president, interactive service media group at Microsoft. “As a recognized leader in providing information management solutions to automotive retailers, Reynolds and Reynolds will bring users of CarPoint the most current and comprehensive database of used cars available.”
“Our goal continues to be to offer retailers solutions to help them find and serve vehicle shoppers in the most efficient manner,” said Mark Brown, group vice president of marketing and general management of the North American automotive operations at Reynolds and Reynolds. “We’re excited to add the CarPoint used vehicle marketing opportunity to our existing dealer services.” “Microsoft is known for being a builder of `open solutions’ that permit large-scale trade participation,” Neilson explained. “We want to be accessible to as many dealers as possible.”
Growing Interest in the Automotive Industry and the Internet
Microsoft is also establishing alliances with industry leaders Kelley Blue Book and Automotive Information Center (AIC) for used and new car information and pricing to be featured on CarPoint. Nearly every domestic and import automobile manufacturer subscribes to AIC’s AutoNet Analyst as the industry standard for automotive specifications and new car pricing information. Meanwhile, Kelley Blue Book is the nation’s most recognized brand name in used vehicle pricing information. A 1996 JD Power & Associates study cited strong consumer demand for automotive information on the World Wide Web. Of all computer users in the study, 45 percent indicated that they would use the Web in the future to shop for a new vehicle. In a separate JD Power survey, 59 percent of computer users reported a high interest in using CarPoint. With studies such as these in mind, the CarPoint-related alliances were initiated to provide users with automotive programs, services and online tools to streamline the process of bringing dealers and consumers together.
Launched in July 1996, CarPoint has received nearly 4 million visits. Microsoft developed CarPoint to be the Internet’s most comprehensive source of automotive information and to support online consumers through every step of the car-buying process, from initial research and browsing to the actual purchase. Some of the busiest activity of CarPoint has centered on the live, on-site coverage of January’s International Auto Shows in Detroit and Los Angeles, during which more than 40 high-profile new car models were introduced.
Reynolds and Reynolds, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, is a leading provider of integrated information management systems and related value-added services to automotive, health-care and general business markets. The company reported fiscal 1996 revenues of $1.1 billion. For more information on Reynolds and Reynolds, visit the company’s World Wide Web site at (http://www.reyrey.com/)
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
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For more information, press only:
Mark S. Peterson, Shandwick, (206) 452-5427, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paige Prill, Microsoft, (206) 882-8080, email@example.com
Paul Guthrie, Reynolds and Reynolds, (937) 485-4216, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors: More details on the Microsoft, Reynolds and Reynolds agreement will be discussed at Reynolds’ news conference scheduled for Saturday, Feb.1, as part of the 1997 NADA show in Atlanta. The conference will begin at 11 a.m. in the Georgia World Conference Center, room 156. John Neilson of the Microsoft interactive services media group and Mark Brown of Reynolds and Reynolds will participate.
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