Fleet management is an ambiguous term used in reference to a wide range of solutions for different vehicle-related applications. This definition of a fleet management solution is a vehicle-based system that incorporates data logging, satellite positioning and data communication to a backoffice application. The history of fleet management solutions goes back several decades. On-board vehicle computers first emerged in the 1980s and were soon connected to various satellite and terrestrial wireless networks. Today mobile networks can provide ubiquitous online connectivity at a reasonable cost and mobile computing
technology delivers very high performance, as well as excellent usability. All of these components combined enable the delivery of vehicle management, transport management, driver management and mobile workforce management applications linking vehicles and enterprise IT systems. Commercial vehicle fleets play an essential role in the European economy. According to official statistics there were 36.2 million commercial vehicles in use in EU23+2 in 2014. The 5.8 million medium and heavy trucks accounted for more than 75 percent of all inland transports, forming a € 250 billion industry. Approximately 0.8 million buses and coaches stood for 9.3 percent of all passenger kilometres. Last but not least, the greater part of the 29.7 million light commercial vehicles (LCV) in Europe was used by mobile workers and for activities such as distribution of goods and parcels.
Berg Insight is of the opinion that the European fleet management market has entered a growth period that will last for several years to come. Individual markets may however suffer temporary setbacks, depending on the local economic developments. The number of fleet management systems in active use is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.9 percent from 5.3 million units at the end of 2015 to 10.6 million by 2020. The penetration rate in the total population of non-privately owned commercial vehicles is estimated to increase from 18.1 percent in 2015 to 34.4 percent in 2020.
A group of international aftermarket solution providers have emerged as the leaders on the European fleet management market. Berg Insight ranks TomTom Telematics as the largest vendor in Europe at the end of 2015 with 529,000 subscribers in the region. Masternaut still holds the number two spot. Transics is ranked as the largest player in the heavy trucks segment with an estimated 100,000 active units installed. Other significant players include European companies such as Trakm8, Microlise, ABAX, Quartix, Tantalum Corporation, OCEAN (Orange Business Services) and Vehco and international players like Fleetmatics,
Trimble and Teletrac Navman from the US, Astrata Europe from Singapore and the South African telematics providers Ctrack (Novatel Wireless) and MiX Telematics. All major truck manufacturers on the European market offer OEM telematics solutions as a part of their product portfolio. 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. A major trend in the past years has been the announcements of standard line fitment of fleet management solutions. Since the end of 2011, Scania is rolling out the Scania
Communicator as standard on all European markets and includes a ten year basic service subscription. The new generation of the Actros trucks from Mercedes-Benz contains the FleetBoard vehicle computer as standard in all EU27 countries since October 2011. Volvo is going in the same direction offering Dynafleet as standard in Europe. MAN TeleMatics is since July 2012 standard on the truck model TGX EfficientLine. DAF Trucks will launch a completely new in-house developed solution in H2-2016 that will become standard on the larger truck models. The leading OEMs in Europe are Scania, Daimler and Volvo with 133,000, 86,000 and 81,000 active FM subscribers respectively at the end of 2015.
The consolidation trend continues and numerous M&A activities have taken place in 2016. Viasat entered the Polish market when CMA Monitoring was acquired in April adding 18,000 vehicle subscriptions and later in July the company also picked up EMIXIS that is headquartered in Belgium adding another 23,000 subscriptions. The investment firm Sofindev acquired a majority stake in GeoDynamics in April. GSGroup has acquired three companies in the past years and the most recent one was PPCT in Finland in May this year. In June, it was announced that Verizon had signed an agreement to acquire Telogis. The latest
transaction was done in August when Verizon acquired also Fleetmatics for a price tag of US$_2.4 billion to become the largest fleet management solution vendor worldwide.
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