Fleet Financier Boosts Investment in Telematics to Remain Competitive

  • Natalie Mattila
  • April 26, 2017
  • 0

ALD Automotive is upping its investment in connected car data, including telematics, in an effort to remain competitive in the leasing space, as the mobility ecosystem continues to evolve, Mobility Buzz has learned.

“We see in this new mobility world there are new capabilities that become necessary to survive, [beyond] your core competencies,” which include the ability to acquire vehicles at a good price and fiance them, to service and maintain the vehicles, and to dispose of them at end of contract, John Saffrett, ALD’s chief administrative officer, told Mobility Buzz.

“At ALD we focus on a number of these competencies to position ourselves in that future mobility space,” he said. “The first is around the digital experience and telematics. If you can’t create a world-class digital experience today, it’s very difficult to be valid player in that mobility ecosystem. If you can’t connect with the car and understand the connected car data, and create offers and services on that in that digital environment, then again you can’t compete.”

Which is why ALD is focusing much of its investments this year on telematics —  the branch of information technology that deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information. Telematics devices can include navigation, communications, safety, security, and infotainment features.

The telematics is typically offered as an additional service for corporate fleets, where it helps them assess driver behaviour, Saffrett said. “And it helps us understand how vehicles are being driven, the usage of vehicles, and the wear and tear on the vehicles. So ultimately it allows us to provide better service to our clients, by offering proactive maintenance and services of those vehicles.”

However, the company’s ambition is to take that telematics offer “to the next level,” he said, “and look at combining that data with geolocation data to provide private assistance [to the drivers] and provide a more, all encompassing experience for the driver.” This product could be similar to General Motors Co.’s OnStar.

“We see a need for the existing players to develop multiple modality offers, so if you are going to be relevant in that mobility space going forward, you can’t just do financing,” Saffrett said. “You have to have the ability to offer other mobility services,” such as carsharing, ride-hailing, and financing for electric vehicles and hybrids, etc., in order to be relevant in the mobility sector going forward.

To learn more about the evolution of transportation, join us at the second annual Auto Finance Innovation 2017 conference, May 17-18 at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. Visit www.autofinanceinnovation.com to register or learn more. To request a media pass, contact Skylar Taylor at staylor@royalmedia.com.

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