Cross Country Automotive Services sees a future in telematics. It's just not sure what that future will bring.
"We do not have any misconceptions that we're going to be making money from this in the near term," says Peter Van Alstine, vice president of product marketing and management.
The key to generating profits is understanding the types of services for which people are willing to pay, he says. Then offer those services at a value price.
While that may sound simple, companies such as Cross Country (ccgroup.com) are struggling to determine what works. Some, like Wingcast, never could.
But Cross Country has a core business on which it can fall back. The Boston company provides roadside assistance and customer relationship management programs and marketing services for American Honda Motor Co. Inc., BMW of North America Inc. and DaimlerChrysler, among others.
Cross Country, which is private, does not release financial results but says revenue last year was about
$250 million. It also says it has no debt and that its telematics business accounts for less than 1 percent of sales.
With four U.S. call centers, Cross Country handles Volvo Cars of North America's (volvocars.com) automatic crash notification services. It also works with ATX Technologies Inc. (atxtechnologies.com) of Irving, Texas, to provide BMW with telematics services.