FTC Gives Green Light to Covisint

Major automakers were given the green light Thursday when the FTC
approved the joint creation of an online B2B marketplace.

Covisint, an automotive ebusiness
trading exchange, is formed by DaimlerChrysler,
Ford Motor Company , General Motors , Renault/Nissan, Commerce One and
Oracle .

“The FTC’s approval represents a major milestone as we move ahead in our
planning stages,” noted Alice Miles, Ford lead for Covisint. “Combined, it
is estimated that the participating car manufacturers make purchases
amounting to $300 billion each year.”

Covisint will streamline manufacturing operations and offer cost-savings
to the supply chain as well as the end user, according to Miles. “With
current methods there are a lot of inefficiencies manufacturing. For
instance, there is excess inventory and inaccurate communications. If we
clear these up, everyone wins,” she said.

The company launched last February and the FTC investigation has been in
process since March.

For the company to get up and running, however, approval is still needed
from the German government, which Miles expects to receive during the fourth
quarter of this year. “We anticipate that Covisint will be operational
within 30 days after that,” she said.

Upon roll out, the site will incorporate forward and reverse auctions,
catalogs and quote management.

Twenty-five suppliers are presently working with Covisint. Miles said she
expects more to be added and also that she hopes additional car
manufacturers, such as Toyota, join the Covisint team.

A search for a CEO for the company is currently under way.

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