Microsoft Licenses DealerPoint Technology To Help Honda and Acura Dealers Manage Internet Leads

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 20, 1999 — At a press briefing held in San Francisco today, Microsoft Corp. announced an agreement with American Honda Motor Company Inc. to license the DealerPoint technology feature in the MSN TM CarPoint TM online automotive service, for use by all Honda and Acura dealers. DealerPoint is an online lead-management system designed to help dealers manage and quickly respond to Internet prospects, reduce dealership lot times, and monitor online sales performance.

Under the licensing agreement, DealerPoint technology will be provided to more than 1,250 Honda and Acura dealers regardless of whether they are CarPoint-affiliated dealers. DealerPoint will continue to be available to all dealers enrolled with CarPoint.

DealerPoint includes an industry-first feature that allows dealers to import leads from multiple Internet sites and online car-buying services into one e-commerce management tool, helping them manage Internet customer leads more easily, respond faster to customer inquiries, and increase their sales-closing ratios.

“By licensing our DealerPoint platform technology to industry leaders such as Honda, we are building an automotive marketplace in which dealers have the technology and tools to respond immediately to their customers and provide the vehicles customers want,”
said Lindsay Sparks, CEO of MSN CarPoint.
“This is a testament to the commitment of CarPoint to provide e-commerce technology solutions to the automotive industry.”

“Honda recognizes the importance of providing our dealers with the best Internet tools to help them leverage their e-commerce business,”
said Dick Colliver, executive vice president at American Honda.
“The Internet customer is now becoming everyone, and we want our dealers to be ready to meet and exceed the Internet needs of consumers of the new millennium.”

Multiple Leads, One Management System

DealerPoint will receive and track Honda and Acura dealers’ Internet leads from a variety of sources, including online buying services, Honda and Acura retail dealership Web sites and ( ). DealerPoint was the first Internet product to offer this support.

Honda and Acura dealers will now be able to track and respond to their incoming Internet new car leads, manage their new car inventory, and monitor the performance of their Internet department with up-to-the-minute response times. This Web-based program is available to Honda and Acura dealers and can be used from American Honda Internet and Honda or Acura Internet network PCs running the Microsoft® Windows® 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT® 4.0 operating systems with access to Microsoft Internet Explorer browser software version 4.01 or higher.

DealerPoint features in the license agreement include the following:

  • Prospect Manager gives multiple salespeople online access to a dealership’s electronic customer contacts, allowing faster responses to price inquiries for new and used cars. Prospect Manager also provides templates for rapid e-mail responses to customers; the ability to track phone calls, e-mail messages, price quotes and appointments; and alerts about unread or overdue e-mail leads and the failure of customers to respond to dealer e-mail messages.

  • Account Manager and security features allow sales managers to easily allocate leads generated from CarPoint among sales staff, helping dealers respond more quickly to customer inquiries.

  • Reporting capabilities allow dealers real-time access to online sales results and the ability to compare them with the previous month’s figures.

About American Honda Motor Company Inc.

Last year, American Honda achieved record U.S. sales of 1,009,600 new Honda and Acura cars and light trucks, exceeding 1 million for the first time in history – and the third straight year of record annual sales. The Honda Civic, Accord and CR-V all are retail sales leaders in their segments; the new Honda Odyssey has been hailed as the benchmark in the minivan category; and the Acura TL has been recognized for setting a new standard for value in the luxury class.

Honda currently produces automobiles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and lawn mowers at its U.S. manufacturing operations using domestic and globally sourced parts. Honda maintains R & D centers in Los Angeles, Ohio and North Carolina that design and develop many of the products sold in America, and production engineering operations in Ohio. These operations play an increasingly important role in Honda’s global organization.

About MSN CarPoint

MSN CarPoint is a comprehensive automotive Web site offering users complete car-buying and car-care information. Launched on the Internet in July 1996, CarPoint gives users fast, convenient access to detailed specifications and pricing information, reviews and advice from leading automotive writers, interactive decision management tools, a new- and used-car buying service, and personalized maintenance and recall information.

About Microsoft

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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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