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Toyota Builds Global Collaborative Design Network

Other carmakers, such as GM and DaimlerChrysler, have invested heavily in collaborative CAD/CAM products and product life-cycle management tools to help manage the production of new cars.
Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp., long considered an innovator in automotive design and marketing, is taking a page from American carmakers that have invested heavily in private collaborative design and supply-chain networks.

Toyota has inked a multiyear, multimillion-dollar contract with product life-cycle management software vendor Dassault Systemes and IBM Global Services for implementation of Dassault's suite, which includes Catia, its 3-D CAD/CAM collaborative design software; Enovia, its collaboration workbench infrastructure; and Delmia, its digital production-management application.

Toyota says the Dassault Systemes software will form the basis of a new global private network that will transform the end-to-end process of designing and building cars. Toyota is organizing integrated teams to implement the software and has not released the projected completion date.

Toyota's decision to use product life-cycle management and collaborative-design products on a global scale puts it in good company. Automakers such as General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG have invested heavily in collaborative CAD/CAM products and product life-cycle management tools to help manage the design and production of new car models.

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