A coalition of dealers, manufacturers and computer vendors has developed computer standards covering the basic business transactions in a car dealership.
STAR, which stands for Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail, announced here yesterday that it had completed 62 standards covering 22 business processes. For example, there are standards for credit application, repair orders, sales leads, vehicle invoices and service appointments.
The 30-member coalition, started in 2001, has been working on a common set of communications and data exchange standards to make dealerships more efficient. STAR is developing standards in XML, the language of the Internet, so that information can be exchanged online.
Many dealers exchange data with the factories using a variety of proprietary software programs that run on computer servers inside the dealerships. The information is delivered mostly over private satellite communications systems.
Dealers have had to maintain separate communications systems for each manufacturer they represent, said Tom Campisi, of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., and a STAR spokesman.
The credit application standards will first be used in RouteOne, an online venture designed to speed loan approval. The Southfield, Mich, enterprise, owned by the Big 3 and Toyota Motor Sales, is scheduled to begin this year.