MSN Carpoint Upgrades Most Widely Used Customer Relationship Management Tool in the Automotive Industry

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 17, 2001 — MSN® Carpoint™
online automotive service, the most visited car-buying site on the Web, today announced that it has released and deployed a new version of Dealerpoint, its customer relationship management tool, which provides dealers with the leading management tool to better serve customers, manage sales leads and increase sales efficiency.

Dealerpoint is active on more than 40 percent of dealer desktops nationwide, including all Honda, Acura and Ford dealers. Compatible with more than 100 lead generation services and available in customizable private-label versions, the enhanced version of Dealerpoint provides dealers with easy-to-use tools to track and manage their online customers. New features include e-mail templates for rapid consumer response and the ability to track real-time sales performance.

“Utilizing the most advanced software tools to service and satisfy online Honda car buyers effectively is an important part of our Internet strategy,”
said John Fulcher, senior manager of e-commerce at American Honda Motor Co. Inc.
“By working with the new version of Dealerpoint from Carpoint, our Honda Certified dealers have the ability to take the latest technology available and improve their dealership close ratios and response times and increase overall customer satisfaction.”

From the initial contact to the sale, dealers can customize Dealerpoint to meet their needs and ensure customers are receiving the best possible online experience. Features include a home page for consolidating and posting daily tasks for new sales leads as well as for follow-up leads. The latest version of Dealerpoint also offers multiple user accounts for salespeople and tips and information for improved sales results. Dealers are able to track their results by accessing any one of the 13 real-time reports offered. Dealerpoint includes a customizable promotions feature that allows the dealer to set discount offers for set periods to market special events or help move aged inventory.

According to Jupiter Communications, the impact of the Internet will increase dramatically in the next five years. It projects the growth of online-direct and online-influenced new-vehicle sales to swell to more than $128 billion in the United States by 2004. The Jupiter report stated that
“achieving this market will require automakers, dealers and service providers to focus on integrating the Internet into their business processes to create a seamless network of service and product offerings, which will drive benefits to consumers whether they browse online or buy online.”

“Development and deployment of Dealerpoint demonstrates the ability of Carpoint to create technology and services that respond to the industry’s growing demand for improved consumer satisfaction and provide the best online experience for consumers,”
said Todd Weatherby, director of Industry Services for Carpoint at Microsoft.
“Carpoint generates more than $8 billion in annual sales to our dealers, and many using Dealerpoint have improved close rates by as much as 30 percent.”

In addition, the new version of Dealerpoint offers access to consumer prepurchase demand data for local markets through the Carpoint Market Update. This service allows dealers to track the most requested cars and trucks in the top 50 markets every month, along with trend reports featuring gains and losses in various categories.

About MSN Carpoint Inc.

Launched in October 1995, Carpoint Inc. ( ) is the most visited online automotive marketplace, receiving more than 6 million consumer visits each month. From product reviews and surround video features to new- and used-car pricing, the Carpoint site helps consumers find the car they love at a price they can afford. With details on more than 10,000 models and 100,000 used vehicles, visitors can research and compare cars of virtually every make and model, identify local dealers and receive instructions for post-purchase service and maintenance.

Carpoint generates more than $8 billion (U.S.) in auto sales each year for its network of more than 5,000 affiliated dealers nationwide. The American International Automobile Dealers Association exclusively endorses Carpoint. Carpoint also powers the Autos Channel on the MSN network of Internet services ( ). MSN is the most popular destination on the Internet, attracting 210 million unique monthly visitors worldwide.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, MSN and Carpoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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