Location technology specialist, TomTom, has entered into an agreement to sell its telematics business unit to tyre and rubber company Bridgestone for $1.03 billion.
Ever since Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi announced in September 2018 that they were joining forces with Google Maps for in-dash navigation – an area traditionally dominated by TomTom and HERE – the Dutch mapmaker has been giving its operational focus a serious rethink.
The decision to sell-off the telematics business came after a strategic review convinced TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn that the company’s energies would be better spent on selling navigation, real-time traffic services and HD maps for the development of autonomous vehicles.
“After a thorough review of multiple strategic options, we have determined that the sale of TomTom Telematics to Bridgestone is in the best interest of both TomTom Telematics and our core location technology business,” Goddijn said in a press statement released after the deal was finalized. “We will continue to invest in our innovative map-making system, enabling faster map updates while lowering operational costs, paving the road towards autonomous driving.”
Bridgestone, meanwhile, is looking to become a mobility solutions leader in the EMEA region. TomTom’s fleet solutions already enjoy the patronage of 860,000 users. More than two-thirds vehicles that use the solutions are commercial in nature. On an average, the telematics unit handles over 800 million GPS positions, 3.3 million trips, and 200 million inbound messages per day. Investing in TomTom will not only allow Bridgestone to strengthen its digital capabilities, but the company will also be able to use TomTom’s road condition data to enhance its virtual tyre development and testing.
Assuring that the acquisition will not lead to any layoffs or hamper the customer experience, Paolo Ferrari, CEO and President of Bridgestone EMEA, said, “We recognize and respect the talent and skill of TomTom Telematics’ management team and its 670 employees. It’s our intention to foster and grow the business and support its current plans. We want TomTom Telematics to continue serving its customers as successfully as it has done over the last few years and take advantage of its number one position in a fast-growing market.”