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Conti buys stake in fleet telematics co.

Release Date:2016-10-10

SEATTLE (Oct. 5, 2016) — Continental A.G. has acquired a majority ownership stake in Zonar Systems Inc., a Seattle-based fleet-management service business that is credited with pioneering “smart fleet telematics.”

Daimler Trucks North America L.L.C. will retain the minority stake in the company it bought in 2015, and Conti said the two firms will “combine their complementary strengths to become a major supplier in the sector and further expand both companies’ portfolios to offer additional smart-fleet solutions to the market.”

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed; Conti said the contract has obtained the required vote of shareholders, but remains subject to final approval by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice.

According to a Reuters news report, Conti’s stake will be 81 percent with Daimler retaining a 19-percent share.

Helmut Matschi, president of Conti’s Interior Division, said, “With this move, we are further expanding our portfolio and expertise in the arena of mobility services, and fostering our regional balance by investing into a fleet management provider in the U.S. that gives us access to a broad customer base and existing sales channels.”

Zonar logo

Continental A.G. has acquired a majority ownership stake in Zonar Systems Inc.

Zonar President Ian McKerlich said having the “backing of a respected global brand that recognizes our need to serve our markets as a nimble, innovative, customer-focused company as we have for the past 15 years” and noted that Zonar will benefit from having “expanded technological resources and capabilities” from Continental.

Michael Ruf, head of Conti’s Commercial Vehicle & Aftermarket Business Unit, said through the integration of new smart technology solutions, “we can enhance our existing fleet-management services. In addition, with regard to remote diagnostics for commercial vehicles, we can broaden our existing Continental diagnostics capabilities through new back-end services.”

Zonar will be integrated into Mr. Ruf’s division, which is based in Regensburg, Germany.

Established in 2001, Zonar pioneered smart fleet telematics with patented operations technology across all commercial transportation markets: commercial trucking, vocational and passenger fleets.

The firm’s suite of solutions drives safety, efficiency and fuel savings—from drivers to dispatch to administrative operations.

Zonar claims 450,000 users and is the exclusive OEM partner for Daimler Trucks North America’s Virtual Technician solution installed on more than 200,000 Daimler trucks.