International Business Machines Corp. and Automatic Data Processing Inc. said they're creating a Web site called MyAutoGarage.com for auto dealers to ensure better communication with owners and faster service.
Once it's available in the second quarter, the site will allow consumers to use the Internet to schedule service appointments, get binding service price quotes and view service histories for their vehicles, the companies said.
IBM, the world's largest computer company, is seeking to grab a larger share of the automobile services market. Earlier this week, it announced an agreement with Motorola Inc. to deliver Web access, navigation, e-mail and emergency assistance to drivers in their vehicles.
"We anticipate that it's a business worth chasing," said Allen Stejskal, ADP's vice president of electronic commerce.
IBM and ADP, the world's largest provider of payroll-processing services, have information systems in more than 18,000 auto and truck dealers, and expect MyAutoGarage.com to reach millions of auto and truck owners, IBM said.
The companies, which will make a formal announcement at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Thursday, said they've already signed up AutoNation Inc., the largest U.S. auto retailer, for the service.
The Web site will generate revenue once customers book appointments with dealers using the service, Stejskal said. It also could bring in revenue from online advertising and other sources. He declined to elaborate on projected revenue in the first year.
AutoNation has 406 new-car franchises, which accounted for $3.21 billion in sales in the third quarter, as U.S. new-car sales industry-wide moved toward breaking the 1986 record of 16.03 million.