The Automotive e-Commerce Industry's First National Online Exchange of Immediately Available, Priced New Car Inventory

OpenAuto.com, Inc. (www.openauto.com) today announced the launch of OpenXchange(SM), a service that provides automotive e-commerce companies access to the first national, online database of immediately available new car inventory and its associated dealer pricing. OpenAuto developed OpenXchange to automate matching online consumer demand with car dealers' current inventory, effectively creating a cost-effective, efficient, and scalable online exchange for new cars.

OpenAuto's exchange includes inventory-supplying car dealer participants and demand-generating e-commerce clients. On the supply side, OpenAuto currently has participation agreements from more than 6,000 franchise dealers, which represent 25-30 percent of all franchise dealers in the top 25 U.S. markets. The OpenXchange database already contains more than 200,000 cars and trucks. OpenAuto expects to announce within the next few weeks new automotive e-commerce clients.

"Most automotive e-commerce companies suffer from the same problem--their efforts fulfilling consumer demand are either manual, which means time consuming and expensive, or automated but spotty in terms of coverage and comprehensiveness," said John Truchard, OpenAuto's CEO and president. "As a result, online car buyers' expectations are often mismanaged which, in turn, leads to loss revenue opportunities for dealers and online retailers. OpenXchange is the solution they've been looking for--it's cost effective, scalable, and frees them to focus on building brand and improving their consumers' experience."

How OpenXchange Works

The OpenXchange database is populated with car data extracted each night from individual dealer management systems (DMSs). The vehicle identification number (VIN)-level car data is cleansed to complete missing elements, standardize option and color descriptions, and more. The vehicle information is then combined with dealer mark-up pricing data that is entered into OpenXchange through a secure HTML interface by car dealers with the assistance of OpenAuto's dealer account management team. Automotive e-commerce companies may use the service through two means: access electronically through an application programming interface (API), or access manually through an HTML interface. OpenXchange technology is based on open-standards architecture and is therefore easy to integrate into existing Web sites.

The company is rolling-out in coming months a suite of e-commerce enabling application services designed primarily for brick-and-mortar dealers. These application services will enable dealers to offer the same sophisticated functionality on their own Web sites as do national automotive e-commerce companies.

About OpenAuto

OpenAuto is the first business-to-business automotive e-commerce company to offer services that streamline online car sales for automotive e-commerce companies and brick-and-mortar dealers. Its core service, OpenXchange(SM), gives automotive e-commerce companies access to a national database of immediately available, priced new car inventory which automates the task of locating dealer inventory to fulfill online consumer demand. OpenAuto's suite of services enables automotive e-commerce companies to focus on consumer experience and brand building; accelerates speed to market for emerging automotive e-commerce companies; and enables brick-and-mortar dealers to offer on their own Web sites the same sophisticated functionality as established online car buying services. Founded in March 1999, OpenAuto is a venture-backed company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit www.openauto.com, or call 925.974-8700.