DETROIT MOPAR, the automobile parts arm of Chrysler LLC, gathered fleet management representatives and automotive dealers for an interactive customer dialogue and new product presentation at its Midwest Fleet Parts and Service Forum in Chicago Apr. 9.

New product information presented included a guaranteed parts pricing program, enhancing Chrysler's Servicenet Fleet System. "We recognize our fleet customers seek quality, value, and consistency when determining where to source their maintenance and repair work", said Mike Fisher, Mopar fleet account manager. "Our Servicenet Parts Program now assures participating fleet management companies and their client base with value pricing on every MOPAR part."

Also presented was MOPAR's newly introduced National Fleet Powertrain Program, which provides fleets "very competitive pricing and speedy instillation guarantees at well over 700 locations throughout the U.S.," according to Fisher.

Forum attendees included representatives from 14 fleet management companies and 25 parts and service directors from Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep dealers who participated in an interactive session to "further enhance the relationship between fleets and dealers," said Fisher. Chrysler representatives included Rob Richard, MOPAR director of marketing and Ron Horne, senior manager fleet and commercial vehicles.

The meeting, and a similar customer forum held in January for the Mid-Atlantic region, supports Chrysler's Customer first initiative "to listen to our customers and deliver improvements," said Fisher. The company plans to stage similar forums throughout the country in the coming months.

Forum participants determined ways to enhance Chrysler's fleet services, including greater consistency on popular maintenance items, service advisor training, Servicenet Program awareness, and improved product availability.

Response to the event was positive. "It was great to get in front of the dealers and discuss fleet and how we can help each other" said John Romano, manager, Wheels maintenance services.

"It great day for the shops to understand what we do and how we do it, and I believe this will benefit everybody especially our clients", said Don Johnson, LeasePlan maintenance services.

"I have been with Chrysler dealers since 1981. The most prominent times in our history have been when Chrysler partners with customers and our dealer body. This event is a great example of that and believe that Chrysler is on the right track" said Joe Spalla, service manager for Southoak Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep in Matteson, Ill.

Chris Foster, ARI manager fleet customer support said, "At ARI, we are very encouraged at the current direction of the Chrysler Corporation with regard to a renewed focus on the importance of the fleet driver. From the fleet management perspective, this "fleet-friendly" approach where Chrysler's dealer body is working toward a fleet vehicle solution that considers price, convenience, and reduced administration from all parties, is a welcome enhancement that will greatly improve the partnership with the Chrysler organization."