Bridgestone Europe N.V. will acquire TomTom's commercial telematics business, which is the largest among European fleet telematics providers, to create a leading data platform for connected vehicles, the company has announced.
Bridgestone's European business unit, a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corp. in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, is purchasing the telematics business for €910 ($1.033 billion). TomTom Telematics, which is based in Amsterdam, monitors 860,000 vehicles globally of which two-thirds are commercial. Each day, it processes 800 million GPS positions, 3.3 million trips, and 200 million inbound messages. Products include WebFleet and NextFleet.
In the U.S., TomTom has between 20,000 and 30,000 units in service, according to an estimate by Clem Driscoll, a leading analyst of the U.S. commercial telematics business.
"Bridgestone wants to get into the service businesses that can leverage their distribution, name, and customer base," Driscoll told AutomotiveFleet.com. "They see the logic in it, and the potential benefit in it. It's a service business with a recurring revenue stream, rather than just selling tires."
Bridgestone, which is the world's largest tire seller, has been increasing its digital capabilities in the EMEA region by increasing data collection from sensors, data platforms, and analytics. It offers digital solutions such as Tirematics, Mobox, FleetPulse, and Bridgestone Connect. TomTom is divesting its telematics business so it can focus on mapping technology for autonomous vehicles as it competes with Google and HERE.
The move will enhance Bridgestone's mobility initiative, and the company will offer commercial telematics products at its 2,600 stores and other points of sale in EMEA.
Bridgestone's purchase follows a move by Michelin in 2014 to acquire Sascar, Brazil's largest telematics vendor. In June 2017, Michelin acquired U.S. telematics provider Nextraq from Fleetcor.