DETROIT—Several auto makers, including Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., DaimlerChrysler A.G. and Nissan Motor Co., are joining together to create the world's largest online purchasing site for global acquisition of original equipment vehicle components, including tires. Other auto makers who join in the venture reportedly will be offered equity positions. Proponents eventually want to take the as-yet-unnamed operation public—potentially boosting shareholder value for the participating auto makers, since dot-com securities are flying high on Wall Street these days.
As a publicly held company, the unit's anticipated annual sales volume of more than $1.7 trillion would afford it a "much more generous valuation than any auto maker," said John Casesa, an automotive analyst for Merrill Lynch in New York.
The agreement ended a four-month competition between GM and Ford to get other companies to join their individual online purchasing sites.