Automobile manufacturer–distributor partnerships are fundamental to the success of automobile companies.
The complexity of the overall partnership model often causes difficulties in partnership study. This
paper presents a systematic procedure to evaluate an automobile manufacturer–distributor partnership
consisting of a large number of system variables. Firstly, Interpretive Structure Modeling (ISM) is used to
sort system variables into groups of various characteristics. This sorting process provides an effective
means to develop a three-stage hierarchic/network model of the partnership, including Stage I: partnership
selection, Stage II: partnership establishment, and Stage III: partnership maintenance. Secondly,
Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)/Analytic Network Process (ANP) are applied to partnership evaluation
based on as many as 20 system variables. Relative importance weight of all variables is quantitatively
determined. The most investment-worthy variables found are management strength and power. Finally,
this paper makes a comparison between the optimum distributors identified by the present procedure
and in practical cases. The usefulness and efficiency of the proposed procedure are ascertained with
highly consistent results in the comparison.