Kelly Mankin: Chrysler Financial and RouteOne e-contract systems will be incorporated.
The companies are related, so it seems odd that they are working separately on electronic contracts. But Chrysler Financial promises that ultimately the two systems will be incorporated.
"I really want to emphasize that we're out launching this e-contracting solution, and I don't think it's any secret that RouteOne's developing one as well," says Kelly Mankin, Chrysler Financial's vice president of Chrysler brands marketing.
In early 2003, Chrysler Financial launched AutOrigination, a precursor to the product being developed now. It's an automated system for verifying data -- such as applicable incentives -- on retail installment contracts before Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealerships submit them by express mail to a lender. Now it has developed and is testing a contract that dealerships can submit to lenders electronically.
Chrysler Financial is part of DaimlerChrysler Services, the automaker's captive finance company.
RouteOne was created in 2002 by DaimlerChrysler Services, Ford Credit, General Motors Acceptance Corp. and Toyota Financial Services. The captive finance companies wanted RouteOne to build a system for dealerships to submit credit applications to lenders electronically. RouteOne launched that service in 2004.
Now RouteOne is developing its own electronic retail installment contract and hopes to have a pilot ready in early 2006.
"It's not a surprise that we're out there with this solution a little bit ahead of where RouteOne is," Mankin says. "But we're fully committed to the RouteOne solution. In fact we have been working with them in development of these two products. While they have been working simultaneously, I can ensure you that they will be fully integrated and compatible at the right point down the road."
Whether that integration happens will be closely watched by an industry all too familiar with the proliferation of redundant systems.
Chrysler Financial's electronic contract is being tested by a dealership in Manitowoc, Wis.
RouteOne's CEO Mike Jurecki says RouteOne has gained valuable feedback from Chrysler Financial on its electronic contract.
You may e-mail Ralph Kisiel at [email protected]