A recent study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) revealed that automakers are working together in small clusters to gain faster communication about their upcoming innovative cars. In order to do so, they use different information channels like web conferencing and other ways to effect live conversations through the Internet. By doing this, the manufacturers can secure the quality of product and customer awareness in a snap.

The study is entitled “Key Factors that Enable Product Development: An Investigation of Creating ‘Great’ Products”. According to said study, the automakers are demonstrating greater passion by turning to collaborative product development (CPD) technique through the help of Microsoft solutions. They are adopting these solutions to serve as catalyst to gain more advantage in the automotive world.

PSA Peugeot Citroën, for one, has worked with Microsoft Corporation to implement a Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management solution. Due to this, information is shared hassle-free.

Consequently, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. has also upgraded to Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 and the Windows® XP Professional operating system, along with Microsoft Office Outlook® Web Access and Exchange Server 2003. With this change, Nissan is expecting to maximize productivity at the same time save at least $135 million in the coming years. Nissan will also adopt Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management in Spain. This is for a Design Change Collaborative Management platform for Nissan auto parts and automobiles. Microsoft technology is aiding Nissan to improve efficiencies in the entire process of complex planning, coordinating and monitoring vehicle manufacturing.

Patty Dilger, national sales director for the U.S. Manufacturing Industries at Microsoft, said “The auto industry is competing globally against an ever-increasing wave of nameplates. If an OEM expects to succeed, it must stand out with innovative cars developed through globally collaborative means that pull the consumer into the design process. By employing easy-to-use Microsoft solutions — from shared Web sites designed for collaboration to project-management tools and a whole range of Web-based methods for direct communication — the auto industry is deploying new ways to work together.”

Microsoft solutions are maximizes management and accelerates productivity. This is the focal reason why more and more automakers are turning to them for a rewarding collaboration.