But without widespread adoption, blockchain may be dead on arrival.
"If only one player pushes, it will be extremely hard to make it happen for the industry," said Teodoro Lio, automotive and industrial lead at Accenture, a consulting firm that is part of the consortium. "It's not only going to be two carmakers to make it happen."
The consortium's initial goal will be to get carmakers to assign digital identities to vehicles coming off the line, which will allow them to access blockchain platforms that run mobility services. This could unlock new revenue streams for carmakers eager to monetize vehicle location and consumer data.
"We've made a big bet on the enterprise," said IBM's Lulla. Now, it's about "bringing in an ecosystem of partners very, very quickly."