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Oracle aims for Europe auto manufacturing

The company is buying Expanxion, a French firm specializing in software that manages the electronic communication between European automotive equipment suppliers.

    Oracle wants a Jaguar, and a Peugot, a Fiat, and perhaps a Volkswagen. Or at least a piece of the lucrative European auto manufacturing business.

    The Redwood Shores, California-based business applications vendor bought this week Expanxion, a French firm specializing in software that manages the electronic communication between European automotive equipment suppliers.

    The details of the purchase were not disclosed except that as part of the agreement Oracle has hired all of Expanxion's employees.

    Expanxion's flagship product is called Galion. It was designed specifically for European automotive suppliers and manages electronic communications and data exchanges between trading partners in the industry.

    The software supports a number of automotive industry electronic data interchange (EDI) standards including the Organization for Data Exchange through Tele-Transmission in Europe (ODETTE), the United Nation's Electronic Data Interchange for Administration Commerce Transport (EDIFACT), and the German Verband Der Automobilindustrie (VDA).

    Oracle is offering the product immediately as a component to its existing software for the automotive industry.

    "Adding Galion to our product line creates a comprehensive [software system] and base of expertise that addresses the specific needs of the European automotive suppliers, and addresses the global nature of the automotive manufacturing today."

    Galion will also give Oracle the ability to handle release accounting, bar-coding, logistics, and inventory.