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Covisint sets up shop in Japan

The auto-industry online marketplace launches Covisint Japan to support its customers and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Covisint, the auto-industry online marketplace, has established a presence in the Far East.

The company launched Covisint Japan on Wednesday, a new subsidiary that will support and be geared toward the company's Japanese customers and partners, especially Nissan, which joined the marketplace last year.

Covisint Japan, based in Tokyo, will be the base of operations for the Southfield, Mich.-based exchange in the Asia-Pacific region, Luc Hovan, the unit's managing director, said in a statement. "We now will have the ability to conduct business in the region, bringing automotive industry customers from Japan to Australia, and the subcontinent to China."

Covisint was unveiled in February 2000 by Ford Motor, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler and is one of the highest-profile business-to-business marketplaces. Its aim is to help the auto industry save millions of dollars in administrative costs by having companies use the Internet to automate purchasing of supplies and raw materials.

European automakers Renault and Peugeot Citroen have also joined the marketplace.

Separately, e-commerce software maker e-Steel said Wednesday that it will work with Covisint to co-market a purchasing technology to the automotive industry. Covisint said it will begin encouraging its customers to use e-Steel's SupplyNetwork software as part of the deal.