REDMOND, Wash., June 23, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. announced today the availability of a new car-buying service for the Microsoft® CarPoint
online automotive service (http://carpoint.com/) ,the most comprehensive automotive site on the Internet. Developed in coordination with Reynolds and Reynolds Co., the buying service will offer a nationwide network of qualified dealers, helping to ensure that consumers have access to great prices and no-haggle car shopping throughout the United States.
Starting today, users of CarPoint will be able to specify the new car they want based on make, model, price range, options and more. Users can research and choose the new vehicle of their choice, then the service matches them with a trained and qualified automotive retailer in their area. This qualified dealer on CarPoint will offer the user a competitive, no-haggle price quote and a hassle-free buying experience.
“Microsoft is committed to making automotive research and purchasing a simple and enjoyable process for users of CarPoint,” said John Neilson, vice president, interactive service media group at Microsoft. “We want to give them the highest-quality information and a hassle-free buying experience. We believe that both the consumer and the dealer will benefit from having the overly complex process of buying or selling a car greatly simplified through CarPoint.”
To offer this new car-buying service, Microsoft has teamed up with Reynolds and Reynolds Co., a recognized leader in dealer information management solutions. By relying on Reynolds and Reynolds to operate and maintain the service, Microsoft has been able to greatly decrease its time-to-market and increase the level of user and dealer service. A sales training program developed by Reynolds and Reynolds’ Nickelsen Consulting Group is a required part of the qualification process for participating retailers. This qualification process gives dealers the skills they need to deliver a consistently high-quality service to users of CarPoint.
“This training and qualification prepares auto retailers to provide a quality vehicle purchase that meets the specific needs of Internet shoppers,” said Mark Brown, group vice president of marketing, Reynolds Automotive Division.
In a related step to empower users with the most comprehensive automotive information available, Microsoft announced the availability of CarPoint Vehicle Pricing Reports. These reports, available free of charge on the CarPoint Web site (connect-time charges may apply), offer detailed pricing information, including suggested retail prices and dealer-invoice prices for every new car available in the United States.
Mark Hickling, the editor for CarPoint, explained, “By giving users of CarPoint access to key information such as reviews and dealer-invoice prices, we’re providing them with the information they need to get a fair deal. This puts them on equal footing, giving both consumers and dealers a way to short-circuit the overly complex car-buying process, and saving time, energy and cost for everyone involved.”
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 Web site at (http://www.reyrey.com/) .
Microsoft CarPoint (http://carpoint.com/) is a comprehensive automotive Web site that offers users complete car-buying information. First available in August 1996, CarPoint gives users access to detailed specifications, reviews from the world’s leading automotive writers, detailed pricing information, and interactive decision management tools. In only 10 months, CarPoint has delivered more than 75 million pages of high-quality information to Internet users.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft and CarPoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
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