America News: ATX and Mercedes-Benz go their separate ways

America News:  ATX and Mercedes-Benz go their separate ways

Independent international telematics services provider to the automotive industry, ATX Group, has announced that its nine-year relationship with Mercedes-Benz in North America will come to an end in November 2009.

ATX will provide service to all new telematics-equipped Mercedes-Benz vehicles for the next two years, and will continue to provide ongoing service to all Mercedes-Benz subscribers active as at November 2009.

Over the next five years, ATX will continue to experience growth, projecting an annual compounded growth rate of over 30%.

The ATX-Mercedes relationship began in 1999 when the Mercedes-Benz Tele Aid program became standard on all model year 2000 S Class vehicles sold in the US, and within a year became standard on almost all other Mercedes-Benz models.

Since then, ATX has teamed with Mercedes-Benz to drive the introduction of many technological advances and innovative services, including web-based in-car information service, integration of in-vehicle speech recognition technology, nationwide deployment of location-based real-time traffic reporting, in-vehicle capability to download web-based US digital map data, direct telematics connection between vehicles and dealerships and applications involving maintenance reminders.

According to ATX president & CEO Steve Millstein, Mercedes-Benz and ATX have simply chosen to move in different directions with different strategies in the telematics markets, each believing that their strategy best serves its own markets.

“That doesn't mean our interests won't converge in other markets or at some point in the future,” added Millstein.

Earlier this year ATX announced its extension of services to other mobile devices, such as personal navigation devices and cell phones, designed to serve the automobile aftermarket and other mobile market segments. ATX also is embarking on an aggressive expansion of services in the European and Asian markets.

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