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Kalamazoo loses out to MMI at Colt

Mitsubishi Motors is to install MMI Automotive’s Automate dealer management system at its own retail network, replacing the Kalamazoo-UCS system. However it has no plans to force franchised dealers to follow suit.

The Colt Cars Mid-West operation will be one of the first dealer groups to implement the latest version 4 of Automate. MMI expects to replace all the Kala-mazoo systems at the six retail sites by the end of March 2005.

“We required a cost-effective system, which allowed for ease of use, up to the minute flexible reporting and analysis and an effective marketing program to help obtain and retain customers,” says Rob Ayland, Colt Cars Mid-West general manager, retail operations.

MMI managing director David Hayward says the company may now begin a marketing drive to encourage other Mitsubishi franchises to take up Automate. “We’ve already got around 40 sites of Mitsubishi’s 146-strong network using Automate,” he adds.

Hayward says he is also in advanced talks with another manufacturer and hopes to seal the deal by the end of the year.

Kalamazoo, the former UK market leader which has been losing business over the past few years, was unavailable for comment.

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