IBM wants to wire your car

NEW YORK -- IBM Corp. and Automatic Data Processing Inc.
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor
NEW YORK -- IBM Corp. and Automatic Data Processing Inc. on Thursday said they will launch an online service through which auto dealers can offer customers personalized Web pages to track their car history and maintenance.

IBM, which offers electronic business consulting services to the auto industry, and ADP (NYSE: AUD), which provides information systems to thousands of auto and truck dealers who use its computer systems, will offer myautogarage.com to dealers and manufacturers.

The dealers and manufacturers, in turn, will offer participation in myautogarage.com as a free service to individuals buying or leasing a new vehicle and to existing customers. Customers will receive a Web site for each vehicle they either own or operate.

Through the service, customers can make service appointments, track their car history such as oil changes and obtain manufacturing information.

Industry figures show that auto dealers are fast approaching a time when nearly half their revenues comes from service and maintenance.

Fighting the big guys
The service will help dealers compete more directly with sites such as Carpoint, Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) car-buying and car-care information site.

"With myautogarage.com, vehicle owners can keep on top of maintenance with a system that is as easy as surfing the Web or checking e-mail," William Lang, IBM automotive industry practice executive, said in a statement.

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN), America's biggest network of car dealers, will offer the online service through its dealer network. Last year, AutoNation sold more than $1 billion worth of vehicles over the Internet and expects to sell $1.5 billion via the Web this year.

AutoNation's collective Web sites receive more than 1.4 million page visits each month.

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