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Tech Industry

Automakers name Internet exchange

General Motors, Ford Motor, DaimlerChrysler, Renault and Nissan Motor name their automotive marketplace Covisint.

The automotive Internet exchange to be formed by five major automakers has a new name--Covisint, the companies said today.

Representatives from General Motors, Ford Motor, DaimlerChrysler, Renault and Nissan Motor said the name represents connectivity, collaboration, visibility and the international scope of the company.

Formerly called Newco, Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler unveiled the online partnership in February, touting it as the largest Internet business ever created. The marketplace will create a single automotive-parts exchange for the companies' thousands of suppliers and dealers. Nissan and Renault joined the venture in April.

Led by a temporary executive team of representatives from Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler, the company is searching for a permanent CEO.

Commerce One and Oracle are the primary technology providers for the venture, which is expected to start offering live transactions once the company gets regulatory approval.

The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing the exchange. Industry analysts and government officials are debating whether the FTC should establish some form of oversight for business-to-business marketplaces.

Those in favor of regulation argue that the expected size of the business-to-business sector requires some guidelines to prevent collusion or other anti-competitive practices. Any oversight legislation is likely to meet resistance from the technology industry, which has vociferously opposed government regulation.

Soon after the exchange is running, the founders said they plan to spin it off into an independent company. The automakers intend to set the initial public offering plans within months.

"Covisint will provide the language for manufacturers and suppliers to talk to each other in the future," Alice Miles, president of Ford's B2B ConsumerConnect division and a member of the executive team heading the exchange, said in a statement. "With complete confidence and security, buyers and sellers--regardless of their size and position in the supply chain--will soon have a way to communicate with each other in real time."

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.