|Directed Electronics and Wingcast Team to Develop and Deliver First All-Digital, CDMA-Based Telematics Solution to the Automotive Aftermarket.
January 9, 2002
At the Consumer Electronics Show (Booth# 4430, LVCC North Hall 1) in Las Vegas, Nevada, Wingcast, LLC, and Directed Electronics, Inc. announced today that the two
companies are joining forces to deliver the first all-digital CDMA-based Telematics solution to the automotive aftermarket. Under the partnership, Wingcast, founded by Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and QUALCOMM (NASDAQ:QCOM) to provide Telematics services and applications, and Directed, manufacturer of Viper,
Clifford and other well-known automotive aftermarket electronics brands, will develop Telematics products and services offering Internet and GPS-based anti-theft tracking, plus command and control of vehicle functions.
Under the agreement, Directed will develop the hardware platform, which will integrate with the vehicle to provide Telematics services delivered by Wingcast. The first co-developed product will provide advanced Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) capabilities, with the ability to monitor, track and control
vehicles and vehicle systems via the Web. Scheduled for release in late 2002, the product will be available for purchase and installation through Directed’s extensive authorized retailer network of nearly 6,000 car stereo specialists and national superstores and the services will be delivered exclusively
over the Wingcast Service Delivery Network.
The system, which employs GPS technology, can also provide web-based remote start capabilities and Geo-Fencing, enabling vehicle owners to be notified automatically by phone, pager or e-mail if their vehicle goes beyond the geographic parameters they have established. Products jointly developed by Wingcast
and Directed can either be installed as stand-alone systems, or can integrate seamlessly via serial interface with Directed’s latest generation of security and remote start systems, minimizing costs as well as installation labor.
“We are pleased to add the aftermarket solutions we’re developing with Directed to our growing list of Telematics products and services,” said Harel Kodesh, CEO of Wingcast. “This relationship will expand Wingcast’s reach to millions of car owners lacking embedded Telematics systems in their
vehicles, such as those we’re developing for Ford and Nissan. With the rich feature set and competitive pricing of the aftermarket product we’re jointly developing for this audience, I am confident the Wingcast-Directed partnership will prove to be a huge success.”
According to Directed Electronics President and CEO Jim Minarik, extensive investigation of Telematics service providers led Directed to conclude that Wingcast offers superior digital CDMA technology, with service capabilities that will provide consumers with the power to protect and enhance their vehicle
“Wingcast has the ability to deliver superior digital Telematics services to consumers using our hardware. By joining forces with Wingcast, we can deliver a scalable system that will offer superior value and more features than our competitors can for the same price,” said Minarik. “Moving forward, CDMA Telematics
will play a critical role in our ability to offer Internet-based services to vehicle owners, such as on-screen tracking, remote locksmith, automatic accident notification and the ‘info-tainment’ content coming in the next few years.”
About Directed Electronics
Directed Electronics manufactures such well-known brand names as Viper, Clifford, Python, Avital, Sidewinder and Valet. Directed is also a prominent manufacturer of car audio equipment with their Viper and Directed Audio lines, as well as a/d/s/, Precision Power (PPI) and Orion. The company also manufactures
a full line of mobile entertainment products including LCD screens, DVDs, etc. Directed is registered in the ISO 9001 + QS 9000 international quality standards.
Directed Electronics is a portfolio company of Trivest, Inc., a private equity firm based in Miami, Florida. Since its founding in 1981, Trivest has sponsored more than 105 acquisitions and recapitalizations totaling more than $2 billion in value. For more information, please visit www.directed.com, and
About Wingcast, LLC
Wingcast, LLC (www.wingcast.com) was created by Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) in October 2000 to provide Telematics services – the integration of computing and wireless telecommunications with motor vehicles to enhance safety, security, productivity and enjoyment for
consumers in a mobile environment. Wingcast is dedicated to the development and delivery of advanced wireless applications and Telematics services that deliver on the promise of connected freedom for mobile users both in and outside of vehicles.