DaimlerChrysler to let dealers use its buying power

THE BALTIMORE SUN

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- DaimlerChrysler AG says it will use its purchasing power to help dealers cut costs, and unveiled an advertising campaign touting its "Five Star" outlets, which meet standards the No. 3 automaker in the United States set for customer service and facilities.

DaimlerChrysler plans to start in Indianapolis late this year a program that would let its dealers use the automaker's leverage in buying such things as health care, telephone and financial services and supplies.

The effort would be expanded nationally during 2000 and aims to cut by $1 billion, or $500 a vehicle, the $40 billion dealers spend annually on goods and services, said James Holden, the company's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Automakers face increasing retail competition from large, publicly held companies such as AutoNation and CarMax, as well as from Internet-based dealers.

Pub Date: 9/21/99

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