TORRANCE, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash., June 14, 1999 — Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and the MSN TM Gaming Zone announced that four finalists from the Zone’s “Tundra Madness” tournament will compete this Friday, June 18, in the tournament finals to win a new Toyota Tundra, the new full-size pickup truck from Toyota. The final competition will be held at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI), in Princeton, the exclusive assembly plant for the Tundra. The V8-powered Tundra, valued at over $27,000 (suggested retail), will be the largest prize ever given away on the MSN Gaming Zone, the No. 1 gaming community on the Internet. The MSN Gaming Zone can be found on the Internet at http://www.zone.com/ or by clicking on Games at http://MSN.com/ .
“We’re having a lot of fun putting online race fans in closer touch with the Toyota Tundra,” said Adam Waalkes, product unit manager for the MSN Gaming Zone. “The Zone’s tournament provides people with the opportunity to give the virtual monster Tundra a test drive in a fun, social competition.”
The Tundra Madness tournament drew more than 500,000 spectators and more than 1,000 registered players. The tournament, which began in late April, was open to all Internet users residing in the United States* who were registered on the MSN Gaming Zone and had acquired the highly acclaimed “Monster Truck Madness® 2” racing simulation game from Microsoft Corp. The MSN Gaming Zone created a Toyota-customized version of “Monster Truck Madness 2” especially for the Tundra Madness tournament. Players raced against each other in virtual Tundra trucks on an online racetrack tailor-made for the Toyota tournament. Friday’s winner will receive a Toyota Tundra and the coveted champion title “Duke of Dirt.”
Available since June 1, 1999, the Toyota Tundra has already broken Toyota sales records and has experienced the fastest sales start of any new product in Toyota history. “The MSN Gaming Zone provided us with a fun, exciting way to launch the Toyota Tundra,” said Steve Sturm, vice president of marketing at Toyota. “We’re looking forward to the finals at the assembly plant, where we can crown the ‘Duke of Dirt’ and our finalists can see Tundras in production firsthand.”
The four finalists are Jim Alden of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Doug Meadows of Morrow, Ga.; Scott Shumate of Vacaville, Calif. and Shelton Williams of Nashville, Tenn.
About the Toyota Tundra
The 2000 Toyota Tundra pickup truck will compete in the domestic full-size pickup segment and clearly be a strong competitor in the areas of acceleration, braking and towing. With a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of under $15,000, the Tundra features a carlike interior and a smooth ride. Upgraded Tundra models offer the 245 horsepower i Force V8 engine, up to 7,200 pounds of towing capacity, up to nearly 2,000 pounds of maximum payload (on selected specially equipped models), a four-door access cab, available four-wheel drive capabilities and a variety of option packages.
About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. is the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Toyota in the United States. Toyota is the fourth largest auto manufacturer in America, and its award-winning Web site can be accessed at http://www.toyota.com/ . More than 60 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold in the United States are manufactured in North America using domestic and imported parts.
About the MSN Gaming Zone
With more than 6.6 million registered users from around the world and up to 450,000 unique visitors per day, the Zone is the most popular gaming community on the Internet. The Zone offers free** membership and a wide variety of games including free** card, board and puzzle games; free** matchmaking for popular CD-ROM games; and premium games designed specifically for “massively multiplayer” gaming on the Internet. In addition, the MSN Gaming Zone has teamed with key others to offer its members expanded gaming services such as industry news, product reviews, downloadable demos, online shopping and a broader range of online games.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.
*Residents of Arizona, North Dakota, Maryland and Vermont are not eligible to win prizes. Participants must be 18 years or older. See official rules.
**Connect-time charges may apply.
Microsoft, MSN and “Monster Truck Madness” are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. For additional information on Toyota, please visit the Toyota Web site at http://www.toyota.com/ or the company’s journalist Web site at http://pressroom.toyota.com/ .