Unmitigated Gaul

French automaker comes to the Motor City via l'Internet

Detroit  May 22, 2001  It's hard to figure the French out. Not to be too impolitic, but they (let's be honest here) look down their Gallic noses at a lot of American exports. At the same time, they tend to adopt a lot of what they sneer at, in one form or another. They want rock and roll, for instance, but more specifically French rock and roll. (Superfluous factoid: According to Wired magazine, France has a deputy cultural minister in charge of funding development of French rock and roll.) And there's still the eternal conundrum of the whole Jerry Lewis fixation. Of course, every nation has the right to determine its collective tastes (would that we could excise rap "music" from our collective consciousness, for instance), but where's the consistency? Love us or hate us, but make up your mind.

That dualistic nature is evidently still alive and well, if the news out of Detroit is any indication. Auto mega-exchange Covisint's Board of Directors today announced that the sixth-largest car manufacturer in the world, French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, has committed to take an equity stake in the automotive e-business exchange and will begin conducting B2B operations worldwide on Covisint. The company, which last year sold 2,816,000 units worldwide, accounts for more than 5 percent of the global automotive market.

"PSA Peugeot Citroen's decision to join Covisint clearly indicates its leadership among global automakers as a company intent on harnessing the power of the Internet for the ultimate benefit of its customers," said Kevin English, chairman, president and CEO of Covisint, L.L.C. "We welcome them to the Covisint family."

PSA Peugeot Citroen will make use of Covisint's supply chain management, collaborative e-commerce and procurement capabilities through a portal that allows the company to reflect its own brand presence to its suppliers.

"The comprehensiveness and strength of the Covisint product offerings made this a logical decision for our company," said Herve Guyot, vice president, Purchasing, PSA Peugeot Citroen. "Covisint fits well with other business-to-business initiatives being developed within our own organization. The addition of Covisint's products to the other technology initiatives we are implementing should present us with significant opportunities to gain real value for our company, our suppliers and our customers."

Financial details of the agreement are not being released. PSA Peugeot Citroen will join the Covisint European Advisory Council when it is established later this year.