LCV manufacturers collaborate with aftermarket fleet management specialists
Most commercial vehicle manufacturers now offer factory-installed telematics devices and various degrees of fleet management (FM) functionality for their vehicles – either independently or in partnership with established FM solution providers.
Many of the leading European heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) manufacturers have introduced their own in-house developed fleet management solutions as a part of their product portfolios. Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Scania launched their first products in the 1990s followed by MAN in 2000, Renault Trucks in 2004, DAF Trucks in 2006 and Iveco in 2008, says Johan Fagerberg, founder and CEO of Berg Insight.
A major trend over the years has been announcements of standard line fitment of fleet management solutions. Scania has since 2011 rolled out the Scania Communicator as standard on all markets in Europe and includes a ten-year basic service subscription. Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks similarly feature the Fleetboard vehicle computer as standard in all EU countries since 2011.
Volvo is going in the same direction, offering Dynafleet as standard in Europe. New MAN trucks are now equipped with RIO hardware as standard, replacing MAN TeleMatics introduced in 2012. DAF on the other hand launched its new optional in-house developed fleet management solution DAF Connect in September 2016.
While most of the heavy truck brands in Europe traditionally have opted for home-grown fleet telematics offerings, the light commercial vehicle (LCV) manufacturers are instead increasingly turning to specialised telematics players to offer fleet management solutions based on aftermarket products.
PSA Group for instance launched fleet management services on the French market in partnership with Orange Business Services in 2014. Later in 2016, a collaboration between PSA Group and TomTom was announced, making the TomTom WEBFLEET fleet management solution available for all connected Peugeot, Citroën and DS fleet vehicles, starting in France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.
More recently, PSA group also partnered with Masternaut to provide telematics for European Peugeot, Citroën, DS cars and light commercial vehicles from early 2017. GM’s Opel/Vauxhall (now also part of PSA Group) became the second OEM to partner with Masternaut for pre-installed fleet telematics.
A few fleet telematics players have managed to secure partnerships with several commercial vehicle OEMs, in some cases spanning multiple geographic markets. Ford and Telogis (now Verizon Connect) have partnered to deliver fleet management solutions branded Ford Telematics powered by Telogis starting in North America followed by Europe, with ambitions to expand to additional regions globally.
GM and Telogis similarly introduced Telogis Fleet for GM in 2014, enabling telematics services for vehicles equipped with GM’s OnStar hardware. Later in the same year, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America announced an exclusive collaboration with Telogis.
More recent additions to Telogis’ list of OEM partners include Nissan Europe in 2016. This initiative covers LCVs and other commercial vehicles as well as corporate car fleets. Other notable developments include General Motors Fleet in North America which in 2017 expanded its suite of driver connectivity and fleet management solutions by adding Spireon to its telematics service provider roster.
Developments are also taking place in other regions. Directed Electronics Australia notably collaborates with as many as six OEMs offering various types of light and heavy commercial vehicles on the domestic market, including Isuzu and Toyota’s majority-owned subsidiary Hino which are the two leading brands in terms of market share.
Toyota Fleet Management (TFM), a division of Toyota Finance Australia, launched in 2017 a telematics offering branded ForceField Telematics, co-designed by the technology partner Procon Telematics. Additional partnerships of this type between commercial vehicle manufacturers and specialised FM solution providers are expected to be unveiled in the near-term future.
The author of this blog is Johan Fagerberg, founder and CEO of Berg Insight