Under the planned expansion, the car locator service will become one of a suite of Internet and intranet products designed for all sectors of the motor retail trade. AutoNetica chief executive Stephen Shaw said: 'Within a year 1,000 dealers will be able to communicate, interact and trade on-line with other dealers, fleet and corporate buyers, finance houses, insurance and warranty organisations, and members of the public. In each case AutoLocate will provide a common set of Internet tools and screens for instant query and response.'
Shaw said an on-line motor trade community would result in benefits including faster and easier communication along the automotive trading chain, reduced administrative costs and increased dealership efficiency and increased customer loyalty. AutoNetica and Microsoft are hoping AutoLocate will also become a digital TV channel service, enabling motorists to buy new or used cars via their television set.