DETROIT -- General Motors is asking software vendors to create a more flexible computer dealer management system for its Saturn dealerships. Ultimately, GM could recommend the system to all of its 8,000 U.S. dealerships.
GM wants to select a vendor for the system and inform dealers by the National Automobile Dealers Association convention next February, says a source familiar with the bid process.
Installation of the new system probably would not begin for at least two years from now, the source says.
Ralph Szygenda, GM's chief information officer, has said he wants the new system to give dealers greater flexibility to use third-party software to manage leads and monitor customer relations.
GM has expressed dissatisfaction with the cost and quality of the technology that its dealers use. Mark Dixon Bunger, an analyst for Forrester Research, says Szygenda criticized GM's dealer management system vendors at the NADA convention last February.