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Godzilla Vs. Mothra: Gartner Says Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Legal Agendas Are Jeopardizing Customer Relationship Management

    STAMFORD, Conn.--May 22, 2001--Analysts at Gartner, Inc. today said that the Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford breakup has the two firms focused on each other at the expense of customers. The result, according to Gartner, will be an increased market share for competitors of both companies.
    "The finger pointing may advance the legal agenda of both companies, however, the current customers facing the recalls and potential customers for both tires and cars are all but ignored in this breakup," said Rob DeSisto, Gartner Vice President and Research Director of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). "In this divorce, customers won't trust either company and will simply find a new home for their automotive purchases."
    Gartner's CRM advice urges customer care in good times and in bad. Messages lobbed at competitors are effective for legal competition, but they leave customers out in the cold.
    "The legal battles will take years to resolve," continued DeSisto. "The CRM missteps must be addressed dramatically and immediately to prevent permanent brand damage."

    About Gartner, Inc.

    Gartner, Inc. is a research and advisory firm that helps more than 10,000 clients understand technology and drive business growth. Gartner's divisions consist of Gartner Research, Gartner Consulting, Gartner Measurement and Gartner Events. Founded in 1979, Gartner, Inc. is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut and consists of 4,600 associates, including 1,400 research analysts and consultants, in more than 80 locations worldwide. The company achieved fiscal 2000 revenue of $859 million. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.