Damian James' Blog: 9 November 2009 - Fireworks over black boxes
09 November 2009
I saw an advert for a research report this week on the temeta its predictions for sales in 2009. It said that from a 35.9% growth rate in 2008 the market would fall to 18.4% for 2009 based on the sales decrease in the automotive sector in general.
With this decrease of sales in mind let me make my predictions for the next few years. Without doubt this type of technology can make significant cost savings when it is applied in the right way on the right fleet for the right reason. There are still reasons to invest in this technology but I think that they will become fewer over the next couple of years. As I have mentioned in a previous blog the likelihood is that the EU will mandate the fitting of black boxes for e-Call around 2014. If this happens the aftermarket fitment of telematics systems will significantly decrease in the next few years except in a few cases where there is a clear and obvious business case. I would also expect to see the majority of sales on a pay as you go basis. This will clearly have a big impact on the number of companies out there which I expect to reduce.
It's like selecting the model of car you want to buy and then hearing that there is a new model coming out. If you are trying to keep up with the neighbours then you hold off buying until you can have the latest model on your driveway. Although in my case it's more a question of how much I can negotiate with the dealer as they now have an old model.
Why invest in technology when in a few years time it will be in all vehicles anyway. I think that in the next five years there will be a significant shift in the whole telematics marketplace. For those in at the right place who have managed to team up with manufacturers to install black boxes on the factory line it will be good news. For those that are in the aftermarket game only they will be left out in the cold.
So my advice to telematics suppliers is - get cosy with a manufacturer quickly, if it's not already too late. My advice to fleet operators is - if you have a clear business case invest now otherwise stand back and let the fireworks die down.