IFS and NEC plan to jointly establish an Automotive Competence Center in Shanghai.

The plan will be formally announced at IFS Asia Pacific Conference 2004, May 20-21 in Kunming, China. The Center will provide an integrated framework for customers and partners of IFS and NEC to perform prototyping, marketing, integration testing, and demonstrations of IFS Applications for the automotive market in China and Southeast Asia. This is one of the joint initiatives to result from IFS and NEC's announcement, made March 29 during IFS World Conference 2004 in Orlando, that the two companies are strengthening their partnership in global business solutions.

China's automotive industry has experienced tremendous growth since the nation became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. According to leading analyst firm Gartner, the opening of the automotive market to foreign investment may result in China's automotive production escalating to the level of Germany's by 2010. Germany is currently the world's third-largest car producer. Domestic demand for Chinese automobiles is also likely to increase over the next few years as a result of rising income, easier access to financing, and extensive government investment in infrastructure development.

Industry estimates by just-auto suggest that the majority of global growth from 2004 to 2010 will be in Asia and that most of that growth will be in China, India, and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. The ASEAN market is expected to reach 1.6 million vehicle sales in 2005 and 2.3 million by 2010. Automotive is one of IFS' focused industries.

Initially, the center will consist of a core team of automotive experts from NEC and IFS. They will work closely with global industry directors as well as research and development teams in Japan (NEC) and Sweden (IFS) to develop the solution. The team will also have the extended support of presales and consulting staff from NEC and IFS to ensure fast, flexible, and effective communication in response to specific customer requirements.


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