General Motors will unveil its global order-to-delivery system this fall when it launches a pilot program in the United States. GM wants to use the Internet to connect customer orders to assembly plants. The new method will be designed to reduce inventory and speed delivery times. As recently as last year, GM planned to expand Cadillac's Custom Xpress Delivery system to the rest of the company. Xpress puts vehicles in regional shipping yards within a day's journey to dealers. But the Internet passed it by.
Custom Xpress 'is better than the general practice today' and was 'a good learning experience,' said company CEO Rick Wagoner at an industry conference in August in Traverse City, Michigan. But General Motors' future order-to-delivery system will eliminate the need for the inventory banks that were crucial to Custom Xpress, he said.
'As we look at the opportunities presented with the Internet to really tighten up the communication link from customer to dealer to ourselves to supplier, part of the savings will be taking out inventory,' Wagoner said.
Within 90 days, GM will launch a pilot order-to-delivery program that will allow customers, through a dealer, to order vehicles directly from one or more of GM's assembly plants via the Internet.