The formal announcement was anticlimactic, as news leaked out in May that Chrysler would transition away from CATIA as its 3D CAD standard. Internal benchmarking, and not pressure from new owner Fiat, led to the decision.
Siemens PLM Software announces that Chrysler Group LLC is migrating its product design and development to the NX 3D CAD platform. The move is one of the largest switches from one brand of 3D CAD to another in heavy industry in many years.
VEKTORRUM first reported on Chrysler’s move to NX in May, when it was leaked to Automotive News. This finishes a transition that began in 2008 when Chrysler began using Teamcenter PLM software as its corporate PDM system. In May it was widely speculated that pressure from new Chrysler owner Fiat was behind the switch. But in private conversations we have been told the decision process that led to the switch began long before Fiat rescued Chrysler from near-certain bankruptcy and possible liquidation in 2009.
The change is more than a one-customer coup for Siemens. Not only will Chrysler need to buy thousands of seats of NX and Teamcenter over the next five to seven years, but its vast supply chain will also have to switch. This also means a windfall for several vendors of interoperability software, which will undoubtedly be sought after to reconcile translation issues, heal 3D models, and cope with the variety of other issues that emerge with both 3D geometry and manufacturing data when models are moved from one environment to another and deployed throughout the engineering and manufacturing chain.