Electronic Data Systems claimed yesterday that IBM and Dassault Systemes have not replaced it as the supplier of choice for motor company Ford's design, development and manufacturing processes.
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Yesterday IBM and Dassault announced that Ford had chosen them to supply and integrate Catia, IBM's product lifecycle management (PLM) product, into the company's design and manufacturing processes worldwide.
EDS then announced that Ford has expanded its PLM contract and will use its software as the basis for integration and collaboration of the Ford's virtual product creation environment.
Catia is used to design a vehicle's surface, such as the body panels, doors, and bonnet, while EDS's software is used in the design of internal mechanisms such as brake calipers and steering columns, said John Moore, an analyst at ARC Advisory Group.
EDS's Bill Carrelli, president of business strategy and marketing for PLM Solutions, claimed the IBM/Dassault contract was only for a single car project. "It's a pilot programme," he said. "They're in one car, while we're in 72."
IBM Global PLM solutions director of marketing Christine Lemyze disagreed. She said Ford was committed to using IBM's software to integrate all its vehicle processes, and that Ford uses IBM's PLM products in its Land Rover and Volvo divisions and will integrate these products across the company.
Ford spokesman Paul Wood said his company would integrate IBM's PLM products into its entire design processes across the board. But he said it would also continue to use EDS's PLM products.
He said Catia will be used to do what it does best - surface design - and EDS's PLM product will be used for other aspects of car manufacturing.
Yankee Group analyst Andrew Efstathiou said having another supplier make inroads in the market is not a good thing for EDS.
"EDS had a lock on Ford, but now IBM has a contract it can build on, and it opens doors for them to do so."