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Cobalt and Toyota Extend buyatoyota.com Program Into Four Central Atlantic Markets

May 3, 2001

Buyatoyota.com, an online locate-to-order program developed by The Cobalt Group and Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., has extended this week into four central Atlantic markets, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

The buyatoyota.com program expanded upon a successful Western Washington pilot program to Toyota dealer associations in Kansas City and St. Louis on April 1.

"Toyota invested considerable thought and care in developing their locate-to-order strategy, which was then brought to life through buyatoyota.com. Toyota's online strategy has been from the outset dealer-inclusive and has resulted in a solid, lasting Internet sales model that incorporates the best of the online and offline worlds," said John Holt, president and CEO of The Cobalt Group. "Dealers participating in buyatoyota.com are better able to close sales because they receive highly qualified leads from customers who have done all of the work online and simply visit the dealership to finish the deal and pick up the car."

Buyatoyota.com provides reliable and comprehensive online shopping tools to consumers to enable them to research available vehicles, configure a specific vehicle, and contact a local dealer to arrange to purchase the car. As part of the program, dealers in each market pool their inventory.

Customers are able to gain up-to-date availability status on new and used vehicles throughout their local area, including MSRP and dealer price quotes, and regional Internet specials. They can also do much of the legwork associated with buying a car, such as checking the value of a trade-in with Kelley Blue Book, arranging for financing, and printing sample forms.

This consumer-friendly site gives buyers the information they need to feel comfortable with the buying process and their local Toyota dealer. The result is a process that enhances consumer confidence, lowers the anxiety often associated with online purchasing, and speeds the car-buying process, according to Holt.

About The Cobalt Group

The Cobalt Group™, headquartered in Seattle, is a provider of e-business products and services designed to help automotive dealers and manufacturers manage their businesses online.

Cobalt's suite of e-business solutions includes Web services, Web site hosting, e-commerce applications, Internet-based customer relationship management applications, data management, and best practices training and consulting.

Nearly half of the nation's auto dealers use Cobalt's technology, including 8,950 Web services clients, and approximately 9,000 PartsVoice® (www.partsvoice.com) clients.

Cobalt's e-business products and services are endorsed by 14 automotive manufacturers and more than 50 of the 100 largest dealer groups in the United States. Cobalt is the only e-business provider endorsed by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

Cobalt operates MotorPlace.com™ (www.MotorPlace.com), an online business management and industry information resource for auto dealers. At MotorPlace.com, dealers utilize Cobalt tools to manage their Web sites, buy wholesale used vehicles through MotorPlace Auto Exchange, locate and market OEM parts through PartsVoice, purchase leads through Pick-or-Pass, and access industry information, news, events, and stock quotes.

Cobalt also operates DealerNet® (www.dealernet.com), one of the most widely visited consumer automotive information portals on the Web. IntegraLink Corporation, a Cobalt company, is the auto industry's premier provider of automotive data collection and reporting services.

Cobalt has offices in Seattle, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; Detroit, Mich.; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin, Texas.

For more information, visit www.cobaltgroup.com or call (800) 909-8244.

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