MSN Carpoint and FordDirect Join Forces to Drive Nationwide New Car Sales

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 17, 2001 — The MSN®
Carpoint (TM) online automotive service ( ), the most visited car-buying and -ownership site on the Web, today announced a new relationship with FordDirect, the joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and its Ford Division dealers. The relationship enables FordDirect dealers to receive online car and truck sales leads from the 7 million unique monthly visitors to Carpoint.

With the new agreement, when car buyers submit a request for a new Ford vehicle through the Carpoint New Car Buying Service, they are presented with active FordDirect dealers in their area and given the opportunity to choose which dealer they would like to work with to complete their new vehicle purchase.

“Since the inception of Carpoint six years ago, we’ve provided consumers with the broadest choice of local dealers. FordDirect, as an industry leader, provides the perfect opportunity to extend that reach,” said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of MSN Carpoint. “Carpoint will continue to grow its partner base by providing the best tools, technology and online platform to meet consumer needs throughout the research, buying and maintenance process.”

“Our job is to ensure that consumers searching the Web for a Ford vehicle have easy access to information and dealers, anywhere, any time,” said Devon Cohen, CEO of FordDirect. “FordDirect dealers can now leverage the extensive consumer reach and proven technologies of Carpoint, providing consumers seeking Ford vehicles with a seamless online car-buying alternative.”

About FordDirect

FordDirect is a joint venture between Ford Division dealers and Ford Motor Co. to bring online shopping for cars and trucks directly to consumers. Established in August 2000, FordDirect began operations in December in New Jersey, and will have national coverage by the end of 2001. Bill Keith, dealer-principal of Freehold Ford in New Jersey, is chairman of the board of directors; Devon Cohen is the chief executive; and David Kain, a former dealer from Versailles, Ky., is chief operating officer. Offices are based in Dearborn, Mich.

About Carpoint

Launched in October 1995, Carpoint ( ) is the leading online automotive marketplace, visited by more than 7 million consumers each month. From product reviews and surround video features to new- and used-car pricing, Carpoint helps consumers find the car they love, at a price they can afford. With details on more than 10,000 car 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 has a network of more than 5,000 affiliated dealers nationwide and is exclusively endorsed by the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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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