Dealers do not have 'open' systems. Their hardware and software is incompatible with systems made by different manufacturers.
About half of the supply contracts for dealer computer vendors expire before 2000.
Dealer chains need client-server systems that enable individual dealership computers to communicate quickly with the corporate office.
Public dealerships must transmit financial data to the corporate office in a timely fashion to meet Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements.
Newly acquired dealerships may have computers that are incompatible with the corporate office system.
More dealers are offering touch-screen kiosks in showrooms to let customers shop without pressure from salespeople. Kiosks must be compatible with dealership computer systems to avoid double-entry of data.