Bridgestone EU to acquire TomTom Telematics

Tyre and rubber company, Bridgestone Europe, has agreed to acquire TomTom’s telematics business for a cash consideration of €910 million.

TomTom Telematics will reportedly accelerate Bridgestone on its journey to becoming a mobility solutions leader in the EMEA region, and the combination of both companies’ offerings will allow Bridgestone to cross-sell tyres and solutions to a larger customer base. Bridgestone added that the data access will enhance its virtual tyre development and testing as well as connected tyre innovation.

Bridgestone has identified digital mobility solutions and fleet solutions as a strategic priority, suggesting that this is reinforced by the growing importance of fleets over individually-owned vehicles for transportation of people and goods.

This latest investment builds on previous work at Bridgestone to strengthen its digital capabilities in EMEA. Specifically, the company has built capabilities in data collection from sensors, data platforms and analytics. This has resulted in the launch of a range of digital solutions and applications such as Tirematics, Mobox, FleetPulse and Bridgestone Connect.

TomTom Telematics purports to have a large and growing installed user base of 860,000 vehicles of which more than two thirds are commercial. It has a tailored go-to-market system and a premium digital offering including WebFleet and NextFleet. Its strong underlying technologies based on data analytics rely on an open, scalable, secure and cloud-based platform. It handles on average over 800 million GPS positions, 3.3 million trips and 200 million inbound messages per day.

Its platform enables customers such as commercial fleets, leasing companies or corporate fleets to make their operations more efficient. It also enables partnerships such as with OEMs because of the improved driver experience. TomTom Telematics’ management team has been successful in constantly growing its customer base and maintaining a profitable business year after year. The business is also well-positioned for future growth in fleet solutions and to develop new business models relying on software capabilities.

Bridgestone claims to have the perfect set of assets to accelerate the TomTom Telematics business. It can reportedly draw on its strong brand equity, large customer base, preferred supplier status at many of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and fleets, and 2,600 points-of-sale in EMEA. Bridgestone also brings its ‘industry-leading’ R&D investment, and Rome-based Digital Garage dedicated to the development of digital mobility solutions.

“We have found our perfect match in TomTom Telematics,” said Paolo Ferrari, CEO and President of Bridgestone EMEA, Executive Vice President of Bridgestone Group.

“Our complementary assets and capabilities will create a fleet solutions powerhouse and will further strengthen Bridgestone’s digital technology arm. Beyond scale, there would be considerable benefits by complementing our offerings, allowing us, among many other opportunities, to sell tyres and solutions across our customers. We are now well-positioned in EMEA to accelerate our data-driven business, expand our fleet customer base and seize fast-growing, profitable opportunities in the automotive mobility industry.

“We recognise 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,” he said.

“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,” said TomTom CEO, Harold Goddijn.

“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,” he said.

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