The German-U.S. automaker's Chrysler Group said its 4,500 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers in the United States can save about $500 per vehicle in fixed business costs through the "Five Star Market Centers" program by using the company's greater purchasing power in buying goods and services.
Dealers were told this week of the decision to expand the program, which was tested over the last year in Indianapolis, at the company's annual dealer meeting in Orlando, Fla., Chrysler said. The Web-based buying program is optional.
"The Five Star Market Center is a 'dot-com' based in the real world," DaimlerChrysler's North American President James Holden said in a statement.
Products and commodities in the initial phase include uniforms, telecom services, fuel, office supplies and overnight package delivery, the company said.
"Five Star Market Center is yet another way we are bringing speed and efficiency to our organization and to our dealer partners," said Gary Dilts, head of DaimlerChrysler's e-commerce efforts. "The new e-business tools are redefining how we work and allow us to take cost out of every facet of our business."
Dealers will be able to access the system from personal computers and select from a wide range of business products including health care, telephone and Internet services, advertising, computer equipment, maintenance, uniforms and office supplies, the automaker said.
The program has been launched with six partners: ARAMARK for uniform services, MCI WorldCom for telecom services, Shell, Speedway/SuperAmerica and Texaco for fuel, Staples for office supplies and UPS for package delivery services, Chrysler said.