Suppliers to the automotive industry will have to get on-line following Ford’s announcement that it is to create an internet supply chain, AutoXchange, in conjunction with software company Oracle.
According to Ford, it will be the world’s first such network, and will dwarf consumer sites such as Carpoint, its collaboration with US giant Microsoft.
Ford spends $80bn a year with suppliers and is hoping to make significant savings through the venture, due to be launched next year.
Over 30,000 companies worldwide supply Ford. A spokesperson for the company denied suppliers will be forced to adopt expensive new technological systems, claiming all they will need is a PC and a browser.