ORLANDO, Fla. -- The two largest dealership management systems providers used the National Automobile Dealers Association convention to put their best spin on General Motors' decision to switch Saturn dealers to a single provider.
The winner, Reynolds and Reynolds Inc., thinks it's a swell idea. The loser, ADP Dealer Services, says it's too early to draw conclusions.
GM is requiring all 438 Saturn dealers to switch from their current ADP system to a Reynolds and Reynolds computer system beginning in August 2007. Overall, Reynolds and ADP each maintain about a 40 percent share of the market for dealership management systems.
ADP and Reynolds officials interviewed at the convention left some key questions unanswered -- including the price Saturn dealers will pay annually for their new Reynolds system.
Steven Anenen, ADP Dealer Services president, isn't ready to call the GM-Reynolds decision a done deal.
"It's a couple years away," Anenen said. "There's some 28 integration points that (Reynolds has) got be able to do. If history's any indication of what the future might hold, Reynolds has struggled doing that before. We're pretty good at it. We will continue to support and do whatever we have to for our Saturn clients, and if that day comes, then so be it. But that's so far out. We'll have to see."
Anenen said he has spoken with Ralph Szygenda, GM's chief information officer, and has been assured that ADP will not be disadvantaged in serving its non-Saturn GM dealership customers. ADP and Reynolds each provide hardware, software and services to about 3,000 GM dealers.