Chrysler is out to improve the company's dealer experience for consumers by sending the old Five Star program out to pasture. In its place, the smallest of the Big Three has set up Dealer Standards, which awards cold hard cash for meeting a lengthy set of goals. In contrast, the Five Star program merely handed out a few corporate perks – like pointing internet shoppers directly to winning dealers. That program had been around since 1997. According to some workers, it was something of a catch 22. You needed sales in order to meet the Five Star standard, but if you didn't get the internet leads, you didn't get the sales.

Instead of sending dealers chasing their tails, the new Dealer Standards program requires showrooms to acquire 900 of 1,000 points in a system managed by a third party every quarter. The points are tied to everything from dealership appearance to how workers handle telephone follow-ups and whether or not there are new kiosks on the showroom. As you can imagine, not all of Chrysler's dealers are thrilled about the change, even though it means some of the largest lots out there can earn up to $200,000 per quarter for hitting the gold standard. Nabbing silver still means a solid chunk of change – $120,000.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req'd]