RealTime IT News

Auto Industry Forms Tech Interoperability Consortium

CODA, the Cooperative for Open Dealer Applications, said Monday it is forming a consortium to address the ongoing problem of technology integration at auto dealerships nationwide.

CODA said it is forming the consortium with the purpose of speeding up the adoption of "open standards for inter-application communication among industry technology providers." The consortium is being spearheaded by Ocentrix, ProMax Online, Who's Calling, California Research Tabulations and other technology companies serving the auto dealership business.

CODA's aim is to bring together a variety of different technology companies into an open standards environment for the auto dealers, including the dealers themselves, along with software firms, service providers, OEMs and industry trade groups.

A recent survey by NADA, the National Auto Dealerships Association, pointed out that a lack of software integration and open standards is creating a variety of problems for auto dealers. Dealers said they are dissatisfied with the flexibility of systems, the lack of customization, problems with Microsoft Office and Internet services integration.

Local auto dealerships are seeking a system based on open standards that will allow them to seamlessly access vehicle and parts inventory data, as well as sales and accounting data.

Among the new challenges CODA will be confronting is to publish an Application Programming Interface (API), which will enable any member of the consortium to exchange data with another members application. The technical committee of CODA will work on specific guidelines on data inexchange, including the STAR organization's proposed XML schema, and the W3/OASIS SOAP standard. Among the companies actively supporting CODA, include EDS.

Auto dealerships generate in excess of $700 billion in sales revenue annually, and there have been criticisms about the pace of local auto dealerships adopting and integrating information technology. While the auto dealer industry was threatened by the onset of online car and truck shopping, now the industry is moving towards figuring out ways it can make local dealers more profitable through the efficient, and standardized information exchange.