Beijing gives nod for car and parts platform

The mainland's Bureau of Internal Trade has granted e-commerce operator iatoz.com the right to build and run an Internet-based platform for the country's car and vehicle-parts distribution industry.

The mainland's Bureau of Internal Trade has granted e-commerce operator iatoz.com the right to build and run an Internet-based platform for the country's car and vehicle-parts distribution industry.

CHINA (SCMP.com) - The approval appears to be part of Beijing's move to improve the car distribution system to strengthen local car and accessories manufacturers and dealers before further opening of the sectors to foreign investors.

The Web site will also allow trading in imported cars and parts.

Iatoz.com, co-founded by leading auction house Greg Manning Auction and Spanish collectables seller Afinsa in May last year, will initially invest US$2 million in the business to business car-trading Web site.

The project needs a total investment of US$5 million and will be fully launched in six months.

Vice-chairman Wang Junping said domestic car-makers were concerned about the efficiency of their distribution businesses, which had been aggrieved by regional protectionism within the country.

Wang said the online trading platform could help car-dealers and manufacturers by enabling them to share market information and trade directly.

"[The platform] would help the industry keep an optimum inventory level and simplify the purchasing process," he said.

The Bureau of Internal Trade will assist iatoz.com in promoting the platform and contribute industry information to the Web site.

The site will try to generate revenue from fees for transactions, membership, consultancy and advertising as well as sales of software, which enables dealers' online marketing initiatives.

Iatoz.com is now seeking partnership with the country's major car-makers and other e-commerce software developers.