DETROIT -- Chrysler Group told dealers last week that they can earn up to $200,000 per quarter under a program that pays them to treat customers well, improve their dealerships and beef up their finances.
Dealers say the new rewards offer enough money to change their behavior and provide much-needed revenue during the company's sales slump.
But they now will be graded by an outside company -- not Chrysler employees. Those employees had an interest in making dealerships look good, which weakened enforcement, one dealer says.
The current Five Star program, which may be dropped, offers certain benefits for achieving customer service standards -- but not cash.
Here's how the new program, launched in October, works:
-- Dealerships will be measured on how they receive customers, negotiate loans and leases, deliver vehicles, follow up after sales and treat service customers.
-- Outside auditors also will measure dealers' business operations, including working capital, floorplan line and financial statements.