Automobile rivals General Motors (GM), Ford and Daimler Chrysler have aligned with Oracle and web trading platform developer, CommerceOne, to create a massive online purchasing and exchange system.
The companies will each own a stake in the, as yet unnamed, platform which will be spun off as an independent business. The first exchange is expected to be ready in three months.
Ironically the move by the three car giants means that Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison must now do business with Mark Hoffman, founder of rival database vendor Sybase, and now chief executive of CommerceOne.
Oracle and CommerceOne will merge the ebusiness portals they separately have been developing for Ford and GM, respectively. Oracle has been working on Ford's AutoXchange and CommerceOne's technology has been driving GM's TradeXchange network.
"We believe this will be the largest B2B [business-to-business] exchange in the world," said Brian Kelley, Ford's head of ecommerce.
The platform will offer services such as procurement, forecasting, online development collaboration, financial services, payment and logistics.
"As we continued to build our separate exchange sites, we quickly realised traditional, individual standalone models weren't the winning strategy for us, our industry, our suppliers and, ultimately, our customers," said Rick Wagoner, GM's president.
Peter Weiss, a vice president at Daimler Chrysler, said the companies were reacting to concerns from IT suppliers who did not want to develop systems that needed to support several auto procurement standards.
Other automakers from Europe and Asia have been invited to join the exchange and Nissan and Renault have already expressed interest in participating.
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