How B2B Will Change How You Buy Your Next Car

photo of John Michael Pierobon By: John Michael Pierobon

Henry Ford did not invent the automobile, but he began the era of mass production in the automotive industry. Today, thanks to business-to-business electronic commerce, the automotive industry is entering into the era of mass customization.

Back then a Model T could be any color you like as long as it was black. Today your new car be any color you like, and very soon it will be custom-built with the options you select. Delivery time of your new car will be as little as three days.

Here is how business-to-business electronic commerce will make it all happen. You visit a car maker's Web site and select the options (tires, colors, mirrors, etc.) you want for your new car. Through the use of cookies the car manufacturer may more prominently display your favorite choices.

Once your order is placed, the car manufacturer will use business-to-business electronic commerce to check your credit rating, and perhaps offer you several financing options customized to fit your buying power. This will save paper and time in filling out forms for car financing.

Once the car manufacturer has checked your order for possible configuration mistakes, it will confirm your order via e-mail just like does today. Also, you will be able track your order, and like change it before your car gets assembled.

Your order will then be forwarded to another computer located on the car manufacturer's extranet. Here, companies that supply parts to the automobile manufacturer will see what is being ordered. The parts suppliers will then bid against each other to supply the parts, which should lower the cost of the parts.

Suppliers will be able to monitor their inventories of raw materials, speeding up production and reducing inventory. This, in turn reduces costs for the suppliers.

Sharing information via extranets between the car manufacturer and its suppliers will allow the manufacturer to schedule the assembly of your vehicle to coincide with the arrival of all the custom components needed to go into your vehicle. The result is that you would get your car delivered in less time.

Car dealerships as we know them will go away. Pushy car salesmen will be replaced by friendly and informative Web sties.

John Michael Pierobon is an Internet consultant based in Fort Lauderdale.
John Michael may be reached by sending electronic mail to

Home | Résumé | Courses | Comments | HTML | Definitions | Articles | Books

Thank you for visiting.

© 2000 - 2006 John Michael Pierobon