Aggressive Web Site Adoption Planned for Entire Thrifty Car Sales Dealer Network
The Cobalt Group (Nasdaq:CBLT), a leading provider of Internet-based business-to-business services to the automotive industry, today announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Thrifty Car Sales, Inc. to provide Internet services to its growing network of nationally franchised retail used car dealers.
Thrifty Car Sales, based in Tulsa, Okla., plans to have a total of 60 franchised used car dealerships open throughout the United States by January 2001. Cobalt will provide its industry-leading Internet solutions to all dealers who join the Thrifty Car Sales dealer network. The initial sites are scheduled to launch this summer. Following the launch of the dealer Web sites, Cobalt will develop a national consumer automotive portal for Thrifty Car Sales and an Intranet that will include reporting services, inventory distribution and Internet marketing services.
“Thrifty Car Sales realizes the power of the Internet in driving auto sales and we are excited to partner with a proven industry leader,” said Jay Betz, president of Thrifty Car Sales. “Cobalt’s leading-edge Internet solutions and broad industry endorsements solidified our decision to hire Cobalt.”
“Cobalt’s Internet solutions provide auto dealers with extensive resources for boosting their Web presence, including integrated Web sites, sophisticated application services and inventory distribution to partner sites,” said John Holt, president and CEO of The Cobalt Group. “Thrifty Car Sales recognizes the importance of working with an industry-leader like Cobalt and we are pleased to extend our expertise in the automotive e-commerce space to help Thrifty expand its brand on the Internet.”
The Cobalt Group currently enjoys similar endorsements from 13 major automotive manufacturers. Cobalt’s comprehensive online marketing approach provides Thrifty and other Cobalt dealer clients with vehicle inventory distribution to leading Internet car shopping destinations — DealerNet, Yahoo!, InfoSpace, Excite@Home, AutoVantage and BuySellBid — providing exposure to millions of motivated online car buyers nationwide.
About The Cobalt Group
The Cobalt Group(TM) (Nasdaq:CBLT), based in Seattle, is a leading provider of Internet-based products and services for the automotive industry. Cobalt helps dealers, dealer groups and automobile manufacturers harness the power of the Internet to realize new efficiencies, win new prospects and better serve their customers.
With approximately 5,600 dealer Web site clients, over 10,000 dealers using its parts locating system, and relationships with 16 automotive manufacturers and more than 50 of the 100 largest dealer groups in the United States, Cobalt is one of the leading technology companies serving the automotive industry. Cobalt operates MotorPlace.com(TM), a business-to-business vertical portal for the automotive industry; DealerNet®, one of the best-known automotive destination sites on the Web; and PartsVoice®, a leading OEM auto parts locating and data management service. The Cobalt Group also owns IntegraLink Corporation, a leading provider of advanced data extraction and reporting services to the automotive industry.
Cobalt offers Web site services that are endorsed by the National Automobile Dealers Association.
About Thrifty Car Sales
Thrifty Car Sales operates a nationwide franchised retail used car sales network that was launched in 1999, and is expected to grow to 60 dealerships by January 2001. Thrifty Car Sales, Inc., with its affiliate Thrifty Car Rental, are subsidiaries of Thrifty, Inc. Thrifty Car Rental is one of the world’s largest international car rental franchise networks, consisting of over 1,200 locations in 63 countries around the world. Thrifty Car Sales offers a full range of franchise program products and services, including marketing and operational support; vehicle supply programs; an array of floorplan and retail financing options; and private-labeled products. Thrifty, Inc. is a subsidiary of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:DTG).