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The Cobalt Group's Dealer Advisory Services Earns Macromedia eLearning Innovation Award

October 1, 2003

The Cobalt Group on Oct. 1 announced that it has won the prestigious Macromedia eLearning Innovation Award from Macromedia, Inc. Cobalt, a provider of e-business software and services to the automotive retail market, was selected by Macromedia's judges for first place in the e-learning category for its Web-based training program developed for Audi of America.

The Audi project was created using innovative technology and techniques that Cobalt developed for its Cobalt University Web-based training program, according to Kevin Root, vice president and general manager of The Cobalt Group's Dealer Advisory Services.

"Innovative e-learning applications are an increasingly powerful way for automotive manufacturers to help their dealers improve the total customer experience," Root said. "I'm thrilled that Cobalt came out on top for its achievement in e-learning from among such a high caliber group of competitors."

Cobalt's program is the first application developed for the automotive industry that has been recognized with the prestigious Macromedia eLearning Innovation Award.

Cobalt was honored for its program, "Logon to Your Customer's Experience," an online course developed by Cobalt's Dealer Advisory Services group to familiarize Audi dealers with the typical online experience an Audi customer has before coming in to the dealership. Users of the program are able to follow a typical customer throughout the decision-making process, including initial research, vehicle configuration and pricing, trade-in evaluation, and dealership visits.

Cobalt's interactive program includes features such as narration, audio clips, exercises, and self-tests. The course utilized immersive technologies that enabled the learner to see the online sales process from the Internet customer's perspective, as well as interact directly with the Internet customers. These technologies included simulations, role-plays, and multi-step problem solving activities called quandaries. According to Cobalt, these features, plus a nonlinear menu feature and simple interface, "allowed for a seamless and effective online learning experience."

Cobalt was chosen from more than 200 international entries for excellence in online instructional content in the fourth quarter of 2002. The award, judged by a panel of e-learning experts employed by Macromedia and selective external evaluators, encourages the development of computer and Web-based instruction, promotes the exchange of ideas and examples of innovative applications, and rewards and provides exposure to authors of outstanding instructional content.

Cobalt, which used Macromedia Flash MX and Dreamweaver MX to create the learning program, was selected based on three criteria: creativity/ingenuity, instructional design/functionality, and technical achievement.

For more information on the Macromedia eLearning Innovation Awards, visit www.macromedia.com/resources/elearning/eliap/).

About The Cobalt Group

The Cobalt Group (www.cobaltgroup.com) works exclusively in the automotive retail market developing integrated e-business programs designed to help manufacturers and dealers increase their profits and operational efficiencies.

Cobalt offers products and services including enterprise software; customer relationship management (CRM) applications; e-commerce applications; an OEM parts locating and marketing service; and e-business best practices training and consultation.

Cobalt's network includes 12,000 franchised dealers and more than 70 of the 100 largest dealer groups. Cobalt is the only software technology provider ever endorsed by 18 manufacturers and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).

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