Abstract A survey has shown that in Germany alone, car manufacturers and their 900 suppliers are using about 110 different CAD systems. This heterogeneous system environment and the current lack of sufficient interface formats necessitates expensive manual reworking of transmitted data. In the German automotive industry alone the resulting costs amount to about DM 100 million per year [Hand-93]. One way of improving the exchange of data is to use product data technology and correspondingly powerful interface formats. This paper describes what is meant by product data technology today and outlines a new ISO standard that supports this technology.