On Monday, January 10th, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
and The Cobalt Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:CBLT), announced plans for the development
of an automotive portal and packages to help automobile dealers create websites.
a provider of Internet solutions for the automotive industry will offer NADA
dealers two different NADA-endorsed web packages for use in building their own
The NADA Web Essential Package provides fundamental web
development and business management tools for dealers to establish dynamic
e-commerce sites. Features include web site development and hosting, e-mail
forms, automated new and used vehicle inventory listing capabilities, traffic
reporting and links to OEM and NADA resources. The price is $350 for the
initial set up and $349 per month thereafter.
The NADA Web Premier Package builds on the Essentials by
adding features such as advertisement management, lead management, a services
solution and a parts locator service. Pricing for this package is a $500
initial set up fee and $599 a month thereafter.
component of the NADA-Cobalt initiative is an automotive portal that will allow
consumers to search an online inventory of new cars, trucks and used vehicles.
The site will also provide online shoppers with an enhanced dealer locator,
consumer advice and access to the consumer edition of the N.A.D.A. Official
Used Car Guide.
is a significant announcement for the Cobalt Group. The new partnership provides
access to NADA's nearly 20,000 franchised dealers which hold nearly 40,000 separate
franchises. Cobalt maintains relationships with 16 automotive manufacturers
and over 50 of the largest dealer groups in the United States. They have little
or no competition in the dealer website market.
automotive sites such as Edmunds, or Kelly Blue Book, help users identify prices
and compare products, they do not connect the customer with their local dealer
or provide inventory information. With only minimal competition on the local
level, Cobalt has the opportunity to corner the automotive dealer web site market.
We believe they could be involved with 85 percent of all North American NADA
dealer web sites.
web packages will be showcased at the annual NADA
conference in Florida later this month. When the portal launches in April, it
is estimated consumers will be able to access more than 550,000 new and used
vehicles listed by Cobalt's dealer customers and direct links to thousands of
dealer Web sites.
For the dealer, this is advantageous as NADA has endorsed a web resource and
helped define two offerings. This is beneficial for organizations who may not
have a web initiative underway. Conversely, dealers with existing web sites
and matching platforms may integrate Cobalt's functionality.
For the automobile consumer this is great news. Many dealers use the NADA Official
Used Car Guide as the standard for establishing the trade in value of used vehicles.
Previously it was very difficult to obtain a consumer version. Having the resource
on-line will level the playing field between dealers and consumers. Access to
the same information the industry uses will help consumers effectively negotiate,
and having a portal that provides pricing and the option to check availability
of a local dealer will save time and empower consumers.
you are in the medical services industry, equipment rental business, or some
other form of association, this is a picture of things to come. Industry associations
are natural movers in creating vertical consumer and business to business websites.
Look for web related programs and partnerships to arrive in your areas soon.