|Multi-Year Deal Marks Significant Commitment to
Expanding Online Capabilities
Auburn Hills, Mich. and Seattle -
DaimlerChrysler Corporation launched a significant e-commerce initiative by choosing The
Cobalt Group, Inc., a leading provider of Internet-based business-to-business services to
the automotive industry, as its partner for dealer Web site development and management.
Cobalt will build custom Web sites for more than 2,100 Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge Five
Star Dealers and integrate them with DaimlerChrysler's corporate Web site and central
database. This seamless Internet presence will provide car buyers online resources for
current pricing, incentives, new and used car inventories and more. Dealers will benefit
from Cobalt's state-of-the-art Web development, as well as advanced marketing and customer
relationship management capabilities. The partnership developed out of a successful pilot
program conducted by Cobalt over the last several months with DaimlerChrysler Five Star
dealers in the Baltimore/Washington area. "During this pilot program, Cobalt clearly
demonstrated to us why they are a leader in transactional Web site design and why they are
the right partner to take this program to the national level," said Gary E. Dilts,
DaimlerChrysler Corporation's Vice President - E-Connect Platform.
The standard dealer Web software and services package will provide the fundamental Web
development and business management tools a dealer needs to establish dynamic e-commerce
operations. Advanced features will include a variety of custom pages, searchable new and
used vehicle databases, e-mail response and management tools, a custom domain name and
site traffic reporting tools.
The DaimlerChrysler Five Star Dealer program recognizes dealerships that operate at the
highest levels of customer satisfaction by employing trained and satisfied people and
utilizing consistent, customer-focused sales, service and parts processes. In addition,
Five Star dealers engage in comprehensive customer follow up to determine satisfaction
with the sales and service experience.
Apart from the Five Star Dealer Web site development partnership, Cobalt already
provides extensive data polling and analysis services to DaimlerChrysler dealers through
its PartsVoice and IntegraLink divisions. Some of this data, including new and used
vehicle inventory data and customer service records, will be leveraged to create new
value-added applications for the Five Star Dealer Web sites.
The initial term of the new agreement is through the year 2002, with an additional term
through 2004. DaimlerChrysler will receive an equity interest in The Cobalt Group in the
form of common stock and common stock purchase warrants.
(May 2, 2000)