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PSA/Ford invite rivals to join telematics venture

Ford Motor Company and PSA Peugeot Citroen announced they would co-operate in automotive telematics in Europe at the Paris motor show. Other carmakers are being asked to decide whether they would like to join the co-operation.

Jac Nasser, Ford Motor Company chief executive, said in a Paris speech: “Voice-activated telematics will provide access to a variety of information and entertainment which will make driving safer, more secure and more fun.”

In a joint statement, Ford and PSA said the co-operation would enable them to provide their primary brands with opportunities to improve their customer relationships and reinforce the loyalties of those who bought their cars. The agreement will cover automotive design and engineering for telematics, development of services and mobile technology. The groups believe success in the emerging market would be mainly determined by achieving higher numbers of users and delivering high value/low cost products and services through strategic partnerships.

Telematics, which is in its infancy, combines functions such as satellite navigation, monitoring of a car on the move and interaction between the user and locations. By the end of the year, Ford and PSA plan to develop a strategy for sharing development and implementation as well as the cost of equipment.

In August PSA and Vivendi set up a joint venture called Egery to compete for sales in telematics while Ford this year launched Wingcast, a telematics joint venture with Qualcomm in the US.

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