By Deborah Austin Covisint, the automotive industry e-business exchange, has announced a next generation of infrastructure, streamlining participants' access to OEMs and major suppliers. The Covisint Industry Portal -- scheduled for late-2001 pilots and early 2002 production releases -- would provide a "common front door" for customers, says spokesperson Thomas Hill. Rather than using different passwords and protocols for each OEM and supplier, a customer would need to sign in only once -- on a customized page designed for its needs. The portal includes three key technology components: an industry-wide standard for Web-based applications, an industry-wide secure single identity for automotive industry professionals, and a consolidated automotive directory. Covisint, Southfield, Mich., launched its initial site in September 2000. Founders include DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, and Renault.