DETROIT - Ron Goldsberry has been named chairman and CEO of an upstart dot-com company that wants to bring electronic commerce to the collision repair industry.
Goldsberry, 57, will join Car Station.com of San Francisco after he retires from Ford Motor Co. as vice president of global service business strategy on Dec. 31.
CarStation was created in 1998 as an online marketplace that links consumers, body shops, parts vendors and suppliers, and insurance companies, said its president and founder, Charles Moore.
Goldsberry said that while the sales side of the auto industry has embraced e-commerce, the service side has lagged behind be cause it is more complicated and it involves more people.
At CarStation.com, consumers and insurance companies can find a dealership or repair shop; and repair shops and vendors and suppliers can find one another. The company ex pects to generate revenue through subscription and transaction fees paid by companies listed on the site. The CarStation.com Web site debuted on Oct. 25.
Goldsberry said he sees CarStation as an untapped business opportunity.
'We are looking at how people in the supply chain can do business more efficiently,' he said.
Goldsberry, who joined Ford in 1983, said he is pleased at the progress the company's parts and service business made during his tenure.
For instance, he said, Ford has made tremendous progress helping dealers fix customers' vehicles right the first time, and this year Ford began encouraging dealers to start selling tires in their service departments.
Also und er Goldsberry's watch, Ford introduced its World Wide Diagnostic System, a sophisticated diagnostic tool that is to be used in virtually every Ford brand dealership around the world by the middle of 2000. 'Ford brand' includes Ma zda, Jaguar and Aston Martin.
As for his new job, Goldsberry said: 'I'm not leaving (the auto industry). I'm just moving to another location.'