DETROIT — Chrysler LLC has chosen Dealer.com to upgrade its Internet and dealer marketing efforts.
A key goal: giving dealers better-quality online leads. Chrysler hopes the initiative will catapult its dealers ahead of the competition in using the Internet to track down customers.
The effort, spearheaded by Chrysler global marketing chief Deborah Meyer, rolls out Oct. 1. Meyer, who believes automotive marketing is shifting dramatically toward the Internet, lured a couple of Ford Motor Co. Internet pros to help kick-start Chry-sler's program
Chrysler says the Dealer.com Web sites will:
-- Be found easily by search engines.
-- Provide significant increases in dealer Web site and Internet lead traffic.
-- Let dealers customize their sites.
-- Mesh with Chrysler's brand Web sites.
-- Give dealers better access to Chrysler's huge storage of data, including vehicle photos, video and inventory listings.
Chrysler is moving away from a factory-funded program. The company still will subsidize Internet service, but dealers will pay part of the cost, choosing one of three packages. The program is voluntary, but dealers will pay 40 to 60 percent less than they would pay third-party providers on the open market, Chrysler says.