Vehicle makers aim to save £60 per car with web link

The UK car industry is setting up a new e-commerce network designed to create a one-stop internet link for all car manufacturers and suppliers.

The network – the UK arm of the European Network Exchange (ENX) – is designed to cut out the time spent establishing separate links between each business within a supply chain. It will allow firms to send quotes, orders and invoices via secure internet links.

Savings of more than £60 per car are being predicted for the UK automotive sector, according to estimates by car industry body SMMT, which is leading the programme.

The network is based on the Automobile Network Exchange established in the US in mid-1999. Ford, GKN, Ricardo, Unipart and Vauxhall are involved in pilot testing, the SMMT said.

Ford already has its own electronic supply chain. But the SMMT thinks smaller companies will benefit from the ENX project. Only larger companies can afford the expense of setting up their own networks, while even the smallest operators will be able to use ENX.