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LoJack Plans Low-Cost Telematics Unit

LoJack said it will enter the telematics marketplace with a super-low-cost telematics product that may be offered through the retail aftermarket as well as new car dealerships.

LoJack recently announced an agreement with Wireless Link Corporation, Silicon Valley, to develop and design a telematics product that would offer basic services such as roadside assistance, 911 emergency and medical alert.

LoJack president Joe Abely said the move into telematics represents “a logical extension of our business. We have a very strong brand and strong distribution.”

“We’re trying to do this in a way where we can have reduced hardware and reduced recurring fees,” he continued, “so we can make this affordable.”

Abely would not specify a price, but he said the system would be cheaper than the current GM OnStar at $695 plus monthly fees beginning at $17.

The new telematics product should be available in the first quarter of 2001, with testing (on an existing telematics product) to begin later this summer.

Abely said the product would be sold through car dealers, but he “would not rule out” the aftermarket.