General Motors has added Auto/Mate Dealership Systems Inc. to its short list of endorsed dealership management system suppliers.
Auto/Mate, of Clifton Park, N.Y., already has its system in more than 500 dealerships in 47 states. It becomes the fifth computer system provider on GMs list.
The GM endorsement provides us with another level of credibility, said Auto/Mate CEO Mike Esposito. It certainly heightens awareness and name recognition.
The other vendors endorsed by GM: Arkona Inc., AutoSoft International Inc., ADP Dealer Services and Quorum Information Technologies Inc.
GM endorses only suppliers in its Integrated Dealer Management System program. GM negotiated deals with these suppliers -- including price, length of contract and level of services -- on behalf of the automakers dealer body.
Esposito, a former general manager of a Chevrolet-Kia dealership in Albany, N.Y., knows that dealers do not take lightly switching dealership management systems. Dealership systems are the heart of the dealership, he says. When you change them, its really a heart transplant.
Auto/Mate started as one of the industry's first finance and insurance systems. The software was developed by Wang Laboratories in the early 1970s. At that time, two-thirds of the nations dealerships were using Wang computers.
Today, Auto/Mate offers dealers software to manage their entire operation. The dealer can choose an in-house or Web-based system, Esposito said.
He said the Auto/Mate system, called the Automotive Management Productivity Suite, costs about $800 to $900 a month.
Auto/Mate will be fully integrated with GMs computer systems, allowing dealers with Auto/Mate to send data to GM and receive it without having to retype the data into the dealer computer system.