If you build it on the Internet, they will come, apparently.
Automotive industry Web sites seemed like a quirky idea not long ago; now they have become the norm.
Automotive News will list almost 300 industry sites on the World Wide Web in its 1997 Market Data Book, to be published this month. They range from Ford and Jeep sites, where customers can read product material and find a dealer, to a site for the material handling industry, where a browser can read about trends or peruse a list of upcoming trade shows.
Web sites for 54 auto dealer groups and more than 100 parts suppliers will be included.
Federal-Mogul Corp., a producer of engine bearings and seals, went online in March.
'We've designed it to reach several different audiences - customers, shareholders, potential employees,' said spokeswoman Kim Welch. Federal-Mogul offers its annual report via the Internet, along with its product brochures, corporate history, stock information and executive biographies. The company is looking into a way to open a chat room, where customers can ask engineers technical questions about the products.
The 1997 Market Data Book will be published May 28. It is included in annual subscriptions to Automotive News, and can also be purchased separately for $19.95. For subscriptions or single-copy sales, call (800) 678-9595.