Republic Industries Inc. has signed a multiyear deal to make the Dealer Services Group of Automatic Data Processing Inc. one of its key providers of automotive retail computer systems.
'The agreement acknowledges our growth, takes into account our growing data needs and is priced accordingly,' said Jim Donahue, Republic vice president of corporate communications. He declined to give details.
Under the agreement, ADP will provide Republic's franchised dealers with computer hardware, software and services.
Early this year, Republic signed a similar agreement with ADP's chief automotive computer systems rival, Reynolds and Reynolds Co. of Dayton, Ohio. Republic also owns 20 percent of Dealer Solutions, a Houston automotive dealership computer company that uses a Windows-based system.
Dealers will stay with the systems they had when Republic bought them.
Republic's 300-person information technology department is reviewing all computer systems. Michael Maroone, president of Republic's Automotive Retail Division, said Republic wants to winnow its technology suppliers to two to four major vendors for all its dealers and used-car superstores.
Maroone said Republic is evaluating how to proceed with computer technology in its AutoNation USA used-car outlets. The stores are operated primarily with Reynolds and Reynolds hardware and software. However, the 12 Driver's Mart stores Republic bought in April use ADP systems.
Republic began acquiring new-car dealerships in late 1996. The company now has 59 dealership groups with nearly 300 franchises and pro forma revenue of about $7.5 billion last year.