Big Three eye other vertical markets for online trade exchanges

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Detroit--The automotive online supply exchange being formed by General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler has plans to expand into other vertical industries, a team from the Big Three auto makers said Monday at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress 2000. The as-yet-unnamed exchange, which is expected to launch in the second quarter, will link the Big Three with their suppliers via the Web for procurement, supply-chain management and design collaboration. Soon after the launch of the exchange, the Big Three plan an initial public offering for the site, in part to fund expansion into additional vertical industries. ``Initially, our focus will be the success in the automotive vertical for credibility on Wall Street. Once we establish that credibility, we plan to move into other vertical industries,'' said Alan Turfe, executive director-GM Trade Exchange. The Big Three's plan would likely bring its exchange into direct competition with established dot-com exchanges in a variety of industries, including plastics, chemicals and steel.
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