Volkswagen goes its own way

Volkswagen, IBM, and the US software companies, i2 Technologies and Ariba, have signed a memorandum of understanding for ‘a strategic partnership to build up a global digital marketplace.’

The new e-market will enable Volkswagen to order certain groups of products via the Internet. This includes manufacturing parts, tools and office equipment. Using it, Volkswagen intends to increase the efficiency in its global supply chain and improve its process flow. ‘In some cases this could lead to savings of up to 50% of process costs,’ explains Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, VW board member for procurement, describing the advantages of the virtual marketplace.

Volkswagen will therefore not join the Internet alliance of the three American car manufacturers, General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler who jointly announced a couple of weeks ago that they were planning to combine their efforts to form a business-to-business integrated supplier exchange through a single global portal.

In that announcement, the three vendors said that they would offer open participation to all auto manufacturers around the world and their respective market of suppliers, partners and dealers.

So too do VW. ‘With the new virtual marketplace Volkswagen sees the chance of creating a broad European standard. Neumann: ‘Our e-market is open to everybody.’