Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone Europe has agreed to buy TomTom’s telematics business for €910m ($1.03 billion).

Subject to closing conditions being met, Bridgestone says the transaction will bolster its goal of becoming a mobility solutions leader in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, a strategic priority for the Japanese-owned group.

Data accessed via TomTom Telematics will also enhance Bridgestone’s virtual tyre development and testing work, as well as connected tyre innovation, benefiting all customers including OEMs, the European subsidiary added.

Among trends changing the automotive industry is the growing importance of fleets, commercial, corporate or leased vehicles, instead of individually owned vehicles for transportation of people and goods, Bridgestone contends.

“Increasing demand in the transportation industry means that fleet owners and managers need to maximise productivity and minimise total cost of ownership more than ever,” it said.

To date, Bridgestone has built capabilities in data collection from sensors, platforms and analytics.

“TomTom Telematics, a front-runner in a double-digit growth industry, fits Bridgestone strategically as it has a large and growing installed-user base of 860,000 vehicles of which more than two-thirds are commercial … It handles on average over 800m GPS positions, 3.3m trips, and 200m inbound messages per day,” said Bridgestone.

Paolo Ferrari, CEO and president of its EMEA region, added: “Our complementary assets and capabilities will create a fleet solutions powerhouse and will further strengthen Bridgestone’s digital technology arm.”

The company has 2,600 points-of-sale in EMEA.

“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,” added Ferrari.

TomTom’s CEO Harold Goddijn said the sale of its telematics business will enable the Dutch company to continue investing in its map-making system, enabling faster updates while lowering operational costs, and “paving the road towards autonomous driving.”

The transaction is anticipated to be completed by the second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals, consultation with TomTom employee representative bodies and approval of TomTom’s shareholders.

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