Honda has launched the second phase of its e-Commerce Internet shopping initiative by providing customers with more and faster information, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. has announced.

The site,, was first launched in May 2000. Customer feedback has led to a number of changes to streamline the process and provide direct access to configure a vehicle and obtain a price quote.

"Originally a customer might click through several screens to reach the page where they can configure a car and ask for a price quote," said Steve Center, senior manager for e-Business at American Honda. "Now you can begin configuring a vehicle after just one screen."

Once a customer configures their new Honda vehicle, they can ask the site for assistance in selecting a dealer. Five dealers will be listed, with priority given to those dealers with which the customer has a prior sales or service relationship. Other dealers will be listed based on proximity to the customer.

The site will indicate which dealers are a "Honda Certified Internet Dealer." The number of "Internet Certified" dealers has grown from about 260 in Phase One to more than 400 with the launch of Phase Two. In addition, more than 900 of Honda's 1,000 dealers are expected to achieve "Certified Internet Dealer" status by spring 2001.

To achieve "Certified Internet" status, a dealer must maintain a dedicated Internet sales staff and agree to respond within one working hour and no longer than 24 hours to consumer requests for price quotes or questions. The dealer must also be a member of the Honda Interactive Network and maintain a Honda-approved dealership web site.

Other features of include:

* Finance/lease payment calculator

* On-line credit pre-approval through American Honda Finance Corporation

* Product and accessory configuration

* Printable features, specs and price quote verification

* Kelley Blue Book trade-in information

* Special "Internet Only" offers and printable Special Offer certificates

* Electronic test drives appointments

* Printable maps to dealerships

* Customer survey forms

The updated consumer shopping site also will indicate which dealers have earned the Honda President's Award for superior customer satisfaction, business management and new car sales. Only about 20 percent of Honda's 1,000 dealerships earn the award annually.

The Internet Certified dealers are able to provide customers with access to their inventories. If the exact model requested is not available, a list of similar vehicles will be provided. Customers also are able to schedule a test drive or hold a vehicle electronically at these dealerships.

"These improvements will make it more convenient and easier for our customers to navigate the Honda Web site," Center said. "As a result it will improve their overall shopping and buying experience and that's our primary objective."