Reynolds and Reynolds Co. has begun marketing its new telematics device called the CAReader.
The wireless device is about the size of a cell phone and can be installed in all 1996 and newer cars and light trucks. It uses global positioning satellite technology to track vehicles, but also transmits information from the vehicle’s computer — for example, if the check engine light came on — to the driver as well as the dealer.
Reynolds in November acquired Networkcar Inc., a San Diego company that had been marketing CAReader to dealerships primarily in California. Terms were not disclosed.
The first wide-scale demonstration of CAReader occurred last week at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in San Francisco.
The move is significant for Reynolds because it is the company's first telematics endeavor. Reynolds had focused on computer hardware, software and services needed to run a dealership.
"We're electronically tethering our customer to the dealership and their car," said David Dutch, president of Networkcar. "Think of a triangle made up of the dealership, the consumer and the car positioned to truly provide that electronic bond."