Car prices will fall further, driven by huge supply chain savings resulting from e-commerce, according to Ford.

Andy Egglestone, the VP responsible for e-business strategy at Ford, set out his company's vision of the near future at Automotive News Europe's e-business conference at Strasbourg today (30/11/00).

Costs will be be squeezed right through the supply chain, with the customer driving the industry in the build-to-order model.

B2B trading is already growing rapidly, with Ford conducting 65 online supplier auctions in 2000. Egglestone said that these auctions on commodity products like gear knobs saved Ford $US48 million in 2000. Exponential growth for online purchasing is predicted.

Ford is also looking to break further into providing 'lifestyle' services to consumers and move away from the production centric model of the traditional manufacturer.

The savings derived from e-commerce are expected to drive car prices further down, especially in Europe.