The unit, called DCX Net, will operate as a holding company with a start-up investment of $500 million and will handle the company's online businesses, including purchasing, production and sales.
"The new holding will forge alliances, enter into joint ventures, and invest to promote the company's e-business activities," said Eckhard Cordes, the DaimlerChrysler board member responsible for running the new unit.
The new company will handle all of DaimlerChrysler's e-business tasks such as business-to-business procurement, business-to-consumer sales and marketing, and online navigational and car alarm technologies. DaimlerChrysler, like other traditional offline manufacturers, is looking to the Internet to streamline procurement and sales processes to cut costs.
The formation of DCX Net is the latest move by the auto manufacturer on the Web. Along with being one of the founding members of the business-to-business marketplace Covisint--a joint venture with Ford Motor and General Motors--DaimlerChrysler has also invested more than $290 million in the acquisition of shares in companies such as Powerway, an Internet software company, and The Cobalt Group, a business-to-consumer Internet company.
In consultation with DaimlerChrysler Venture Capital Funds, the automaker's investment unit, the new holding company will also make investments in start-up ventures, DaimlerChrysler said.