ORLANDO, Fla. - DaimlerChrysler is reaching out to companies with Internet experience to bolster the presence of Chrysler, Plymouth, Jeep and Dodge on the World Wide Web.
Ask Jeeves, an Internet search engine, and Kelley Blue Book's used-car pricing guide will be added to the four brands' Web sites, said Gary Dilts, vice president of Chrysler group's retail strategies.
Dilts talked about the new programs during an interview at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here last week.
DaimlerChrysler has been conspicuously absent from a recent spate of high-profile Internet announcements. At this month's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, General Motors said it will link up with America Online Inc., and Ford Motor Co. said it will work with Yahoo! Inc.
GM's alliance will provide America Online content to OnStar subscribers. Ford's deal with Yahoo! will offer Web pages for vehicle owners to track information on sales and service.
Until now, the Chrysler group has focused on back-office Internet operations, streamlining computer connections and bringing engineering, supply chain management and retail operations together behind the scenes. Now it is devoting more time and money to consumer Web applications.
The Kelley Blue Book feature will enable users to estimate the trade-in value of their vehicles, Dilts said.
Although Kelley publishes lists of invoice prices, this will not become part of the Chrysler group sites, Dilts said. Invoice prices let shoppers see dealers' vehicle costs.
Ask Jeeves enables Web surfers to find information by asking simple questions. Nearly all other systems require key word searches.