Continental, the German automotive company, has inked a deal in the U.S. to purchase Zonar, the smart fleet management technology provider.
According to a report, the deal will help Continental expand its mobility services and give it a stronger position in the U.S. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Continental is buying a 81 percent stake in Zonar, which is based in Seattle. Daimler, also of Germany, will hold onto its 19 percent stake in Zonar. Zonar’s technology enables customers, including large truck fleet operators, to launch connectivity services via satellite, including remote vehicle diagnostics.
“Through the integration of new smart technology solutions, we can enhance our existing fleet management services. In addition, with regard to remote diagnostics for commercial vehicles, we can broaden our existing Continental diagnostics capabilities,” said Michael Ruf, head of Continental’s commercial vehicle and aftermarket unit, where the acquisition will be integrated, in the report. Continental also acquired Hoosier Racing Tire. It declined to disclose a purchase price.
Fleet management has already gone high-tech, but increasingly, it is embracing Big Data. The challenge isn’t collecting data but harnessing the power of it. Fleets are getting smarter and so are the systems used to manage them. A recent MarketsandMarkets study estimated the market for fleet management systems will grow to $35 billion by 2019, a more than $20 billion increase from its current value. Increased competition, CO2 emission control norms and rising fuel costs are a few of the issues making fleet management systems essential to modern fleet management. Data can reveal operational efficiencies by monitoring vehicle performance and mileage; improve operational reliability and safety, maintenance planning and driver control; and optimize navigation and routes.