ANX eBusiness Corp. says more than 900 trading partners (90% of them automotive) are using the ANX Network, and two new developments promise to push that number even higher.

The company, along with Mitsubishi Corp., forms ANX eBusiness Asia-Pacific Co. Ltd., a Tokyo-based joint venture to offer business-to-business solutions for the Japanese and Asia-Pacific trading communities. In July, Mitsubishi acquired a 20% stake in ANX eBusiness and said it would promote the use of ANX throughout its worldwide trading community. ANX owns 51% of the JV; Mitsubishi owns 49%.

ANX is a virtual private network for highly secure collaboration and supply chain management. The Automotive Industry Action Group created ANX in 1996 and sold it in 1999 to Science Applications International Corp. so the network could be expanded to other industries.

Also at the Auto-Tech 2001 conference in Detroit, ANX eBusiness announced a new service for dial-up access to the network for a flat monthly cost of $49.95. The dial-up service will be available globally, with roll-out across North America set for Sept. 30.

“Pricing for such communications has traditionally been volume-based, resulting in high profit margins for value-added networks but little flexibility for customers,” says Alex Preston, president of ANX eBusiness. He says flat-rate pricing for up to 2,000 transactions a month effectively opens up ANX to small companies with global aspirations.