Fleet News

Wingcast eyes European fleet telematics growth

TELEMATICS supplier Wingcast has put European fleets at the forefront of its ambitious growth plans.

Wingcast Europe president and chief executive officer Dr Lars Kreul said the company plans to offer its services on a pan-European basis starting with the key markets of France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

He said: 'Fleet drivers and operators are very important to our business. It is very important to us that we have a fleet offering and this will start in the Ford Transit van next year before moving into cars.

'We aim to offer our services to both corporate drivers and fleet operators because they do require very different systems.'

Wingcast is a joint venture created by Ford and QUALCOMM a year ago and it aims to have systems - either for consumers or fleets - fully operational in France, Germany, Sweden and the UK by 2003 with Benelux, Italy and Spain following shortly afterwards.

Kreul said despite being Ford-owned, Wingcast is free to negotiate with any manufacturer. 'We are a preferred supplier to Ford,' he said, 'but it does not restrict our business. We are treated as a completely separate company and not as a Ford division. We are in discussion with other manufacturers.'

Kreul said one of the biggest obstacles facing the company today was having the right infrastructure, in terms of data availability and transmission technology, in place on a pan-European basis.

'It is challenging,' he said, 'because we are starting from the beginning. I believe there will only be one or two telematics aggregates in the future and we will be one of them.'

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