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Chrysler replaces five-star program

by David Zatz on

Chrysler has been replacing the Five Star dealership quality program implemented in 1997 with a new program called Dealer Standards.

The original Five Star program was hailed at first, but was rapidly dismissed by critics when control was essentially handed over to zone reps rather than an external third party or a specialized team in Auburn Hills.

The Five Star program rewarded dealers who met the qualifications, as measured by zone officials, with special signs, sales leads, and other perks.

The new program rewards dealers with cash, and uses both mystery shoppers and slowly increasing goals. The Dealer Standards system is operated by a company owned by the Swiss SGS Group, which handles similar duties for Fiat. SGS also counts BMW, Toyota, and Volkswagen as customers. (Sergio Marchionne sits on their board, in what some may call a conflict of interest.)

While dealerships are graded on a variety of categories, including customer relations and facilities, sales volume is a major factor. The criteria vary considerably from month to month.

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