Add another outlet to the automotive virtual shopping mall.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. and i2 Technologies Inc. are teaming up to create an online marketplace where users will be able to buy and sell replacement parts for all makes of cars and trucks.
The new venture is called iStarXchange. It joins Ford Motor Co.'s auto-xchange and General Motors' TradeXchange as the latest Internet-based service to support electronic business-to-business transactions in the automotive industry.
The Ford and GM exchanges, however, mainly target suppliers. With iStarXchange, Toyota and i2 Technologies are pursuing the $100 billion U.S. aftermarket parts business.
iStarXchange essentially will offer one-stop shopping from a huge online parts catalog. Sellers should be able to reduce inventory levels; buyers should have faster, easier access to parts; and everybody should see lower transaction costs.
The service will be available to all automakers, suppliers, wholesalers and independent parts and service retailers. Buyers and sellers will pay a monthly subscription fee for access to the service. Sellers also will pay a per-transaction fee.
'This new virtual marketplace will enable every participant in the replacement parts supply chain to increase efficiency while creating value and higher satisfaction for their customers,' said Dave Illingworth, senior vice president of planning and development for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.
Illingworth was in Detroit on Wednesday, Feb. 23, to peddle the service to suppliers. Toyota spokesman Joe Tetherow said a number of suppliers have contacted Toyota as well. He would not name specific companies but said, 'We're very encouraged.'
iStarXchange is expected to be available during the second quarter of 2000.
Inefficiency can be a hallmark of the parts business, which includes more than 160,000 buyers, 66,000 sellers and millions of unique part numbers.
Toyota, in Torrance, Calif., will hold a majority stake in iStarXchange. i2 Technologies of Dallas will provide the software and host and manage the service. The new company will be in Torrance. Staffing will come from both companies.