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Peugeot joins the Covisint convoy

The French automaker steers its suppliers and manufacturing unit to the burgeoning online auto marketplace and plans to take an equity stake.

The Covisint convoy has gained another vehicle.

The company on Tuesday said that French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is steering its suppliers and manufacturing unit to the burgeoning online auto marketplace.

As part of the deal, Peugeot said it will take an equity stake in Covisint. The size of the investment was not disclosed.

The French company plans to use the exchange in managing its supply chain, procuring goods and collaborating with others in the auto business, through a customized Peugeot branded portal, the companies said in a joint statement.

Peugeot last year sold 2.8 million cars worldwide and accounts for about 5 percent of the global automotive market. The company joins American automakers Ford Motor and General Motors, Europe's DaimlerChrysler and Renault, and Japan's Toyota and Nissan on the exchange, which is based in Southfield, Michigan.

Although Covisint has pulled a number of European manufacturers to the exchange, Volkswagen has decided to go its own way, joining with i2 Technologies, Ariba and IBM last year to build a private exchange for its suppliers.

Covisint last month named its first chief executive, Kevin English. The selection stunned many in the auto industry, who hadn't previously worked in the automotive industry and whose Internet economy experience has been questioned.

Peugeot plans to join the Covisint European Advisory Council when it is established later this year.

Covisint also has offices in Amsterdam and Tokyo.