Daimler said it will, from the summer of 2012, integrate work from morethan 20 development centers and their most important suppliers on a single product development platform provided by Siemens.

The move came as a surprise to Dassault Systemes, the French maker of CATIA PLM software, whichrenewed its CATIA contract with Daimler for five years in 2010. Dassault said it didn't know yet which CATIA specialized applications would remain and which ones would be replaced by Daimler.

Siemens’ NX CAD software will complete Daimler’s implementation of Teamcenter, its product data management backbone.

“The combination of NX CAD software with our product data management system Smaragd, which is based on Teamcenter, will integrate our entire product creation process from design through production planning down to managing production machines,” said Bharat Balasubramanian, who is responsible at Daimler for r&d product innovation and process technology.

That integration opportunity was also a key reason Daimler opted for Siemens instead of Dassault, the French company said.

Siemens noted that modern vehicle design requires an increasing integration of mechanical, electrical and electronic components with an ever expanding software ratio. All information associated with mechanical, electrical and software needs to flow into an integrated platform to allow for collaboration across the full value chain, including suppliers, the company said in a statement.

“Our CAD and PLM software will help manufacturers enhance their development processes and their production planning and therefore increase their productivity,” said Chuck Grindstaff, president and chief technology officer of Siemens PLM Software.

Siemens is one of the leading suppliers of PLM software with 6.7 million licenses and 69,500 customers around the world. PLM software sales are growing faster than any other business software, the company said. The market is expected to expand by about 8 percent a year through 2014 from about 23 billion euros in 2009.