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News of  May 05, 2000


DaimlerChrysler Endorses The Cobalt Group to Operate Web Sites for Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge Five Star Dealers Nationwide
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)


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