E-commerce Helps Propel GM to Record Year

General Motors Corp. this morning reported record sales and earnings for 1999 and credited its e-commerce ventures in part for its strong financial showing.

The automaker reported 1999 revenue of $176 billion, up 13.6% from 1998, and record earnings of $5.6 billion, up from $3 billion.

The report comes one day after GM in Detroit and Commerce One Inc. in Walnut Creek, Calif., announced an agreement to incorporate the business-to-business supply-chain management services of i2 Technologies Inc. in Dallas into the GM TradeXchange open online marketplace.

GM said the deal will help move its global supply chain to the site. GM spends $87 billion annually with 30,000 suppliers worldwide.

The i2 capability would give the GM/Commerce One exchange the same supply-chain planning capability that Ford Motor Co. and Oracle Corp. plan to offer online.

The i2 deal will allow GM to "be able to quickly create stronger, leaner and more efficient supply chains," said Harold Kutner, GM group vice president of worldwide purchasing. "The goal with GM TradeXchange is not to move the costs around the supply chain, but to reduce the costs of all our suppliers."

GM Chairman John F. Smith Jr. listed GM's "aggressive move into e-commerce, including the establishment of e-GM and GM TradeXchange" as "being very significant" among several steps responsible for the rise in sales and profits last year. He also mentioned GM's corporate restructuring separating Delphi Automotive Systems, Hughes Defense and Electronic Data Systems Corp., as well as global integration of auto operations.

"We are implementing our plans to make GM a faster, leaner, more innovative and customer-focused enterprise," Smith said in a statement.

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