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DiData's Auto-Mate Deal To Drive Mitsubishi's E-Commerce

South Africa's Dimension Data revealed this week that its specialist automotive software provider Auto-Mate has entered into a venture to provide Mitsubishi car dealers across the U.S. with an online technology platform.

The deal between the DiData-owned Auto-Mate and Car America came about as a result of Mitsubishi's request that Car America find a partner that would be able to provide an online dealer management system.

Car America then investigated the market and came up with Auto-Mate as a suitable candidate to develop a Windows-based vertical networking system for the motor manufacturer.

The two companies realised the compatibility of the technology however, and rather than end the partnership there, a joint venture company was formed between the two, known as Automotive Software USA Inc.

Auto-Mate International Director Allan Green expects the joint venture to garner revenues of over R20 million within the first two years of operation. He expects that within time, the entire US car dealer market of over 20,000 networked dealers would be targeted.

Auto-Mate have been providing just such an online management solution to South African motor dealers through its parent company for some time, but this is the first time that a major international dealer such as Mitsubishi has opted for the system. In South Africa, Auto-Mate provides services to over 650 of SA's 1,100 networked car dealers.

Speaking this week, Mitsubishi's U.S. Retail Director Greg Stahl enthused "The joint venture between Auto-Mate and Car America provided a functionally-rich vertical technology platform that will enable us to reach our objective of bringing our dealers online."
The companies revealed that in terms of this venture, the first such networked software system will be flighted experimentally within two months and by the end of 2001, over 215 Mitsubishi dealers across the US are expected to be fully equipped.

Stahl revealed that if this proves to be a success, the system will be extended to all 500 Mitsubishi dealers operating in the U.S. Once the system is fully-rolled out, Stahl estimates that it will be used by over 7,000 users.



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