Honda Launches Promotion of Nomad to its North American Dealer Network

Honda Launches Promotion of Nomad Expert Technician System to its North American Dealer Network

Wireless Computer With Head-Worn See-Through Display Increases Repair Quality/Customer Satisfaction

BOTHELL, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 23, 2004-- American Honda Motor Company and Microvision, Inc. (Nasdaq:MVIS - News) today announced they have formally launched a promotional effort to offer the Nomad Expert Technician System to all 1,200 plus Honda and Acura Dealers nationwide. The announcement follows Honda's certification of the system earlier this summer and the successful completion of a dealer demand survey. Effective immediately, American Honda is marketing directly to its dealers and taking orders for the Nomad Expert Technician System. Orders will be fulfilled by Microvision.

"American Honda is excited about the Nomad Expert Technician System's potential to enable improvements in customer service and to reduce the time required to perform services and repairs," said John Petas, Senior VP of Service and Parts for American Honda Motor Company. "Feedback from our dealers who have tried the Nomad System has been very positive," Petas continued, "and we are anxious for all Honda and Acura dealers to add this advantage in achieving a higher customer satisfaction level."

The promotion will include the direct mailing by Honda to all of its dealers in North America of a five page color brochure promoting the Nomad system's ability to deliver gains in productivity, service quality and customer satisfaction. Promotional elements will be coordinated with a presence for the Nomad "special offer" on Honda's dealer Intranet (IN) system. Honda is also sponsoring Nomad demonstrations and promotions at the upcoming new car show for Acura in Chicago later this week (August 25th) and for Honda in Orlando, Fl. beginning on September 23rd.

According to Rick Rutkowski, Microvision CEO, the Honda launch is just one aspect of rolling out Microvision's unique wireless hands-free terminal into the automotive repair market. "American Honda is an important partner in the automotive service space," said Rutkowski. "There is little question that having worked so closely with Honda over the last year has contributed to the design of a product that is very well suited to both the range of service applications and to the service bay environment. As a result the product continues to receive tremendous interest from the entire industry. We're looking forward to a successful launch, to conducting a lot of on site demonstrations and to providing a great productivity tool for Honda and Acura dealers across the United States."
My take on this: the demand side of the Nomad equation is being validated. The supply side is ready to go. For a company that has derived nearly all its revenues to date from development contracts from the US military to take their technology into the industrial mainstream is huge. Here you have a company valued at $138M, that owns over $30M worth of Lumera stock -- with its first commercial display product ready to go to meet an eager market.

When the American Honda Sr. VP of Service and Parts says he is "anxious for all Honda and Acura dealers to add this advantage [Nomad] in achieving a higher customer satisfaction level" he's not just joking around. Honda has put a lot of work into developing the Nomad platform and assisting in the design process to ensure that the end result will be something that will really help their mechanics improve their performance. They expect that all Honda and Acura dealers will buy one or more Nomads.

Microvision has worked for years to bring scanned beam displays down to the size where they can fit under the brim of a baseball hat, and aren't cost prohibitive for mainstream applications. Now the effort to market the Nomad to our target market is being worked in tandem with a very large, well respected partner in the industry.

If you are a Honda/Acura dealer and you get a call from corporate headquarters saying its time to buy some Nomads, you are going to say, 'Yes Sir, right away Sir'. Because you don't want to get dinged when it's bonus time, baby.