SEATTLE — German automotive supplier Continental is acquiring a majority stake in fleet management technology provider Zonar.
The move is part of Continental’s effort to intensify its activities in the fleet management service business. Continental develops technologies for transporting people and their goods. The international automotive supplier and tire manufacturer includes five divisions, Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tires, and ContiTech.
The contract was signed on Friday, and has obtained the required vote of the shareholders, but remains subject to final approval of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.
“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,” said Helmut Matschi, president of the interior division and member of the executive board of Continental.
“It is exciting to move into a new chapter in Zonar history with 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,” said Ian McKerlich, president of Zonar. “Customers will receive the same productive partnership and innovation they have come to expect with Zonar, as well as expanded technological resources and capabilities from Continental.”
Zonar is also the exclusive OEM partner for Daimler Trucks North America’s Virtual Technician solution installed on more than 200,000 Daimler trucks, according to Zonar. Daimler Trucks is retaining its minority stake in the company.
“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 backend services,” said Dr. Michael Ruf, head of the commercial vehicle and aftermarket business unit at Continental, where the acquisition will be integrated.
“Continental’s investment in Zonar presents a great opportunity to bring the best in both hardware and software solutions to the industry,” said Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America. “Daimler Trucks North America will continue its partnership with Zonar building upon the success we have enjoyed over the last five years and Zonar will continue to be an integral part of our connectivity solutions.”
When the process is complete, Continental will further expand its existing product, solution, and service portfolio in the area of mobility services for fleet management of commercial vehicles and aftermarket.