New year. New diary. New balance sheet. New company? In this respect, 2016 got off to a flying start. No sooner had the year begun than we received news of some high profile, three-digit-million pound mergers and acquisitions. The first and the largest was the acquisition of well-known garage data supplier Autodata (see page 32, Company New section for complete details). However, within 24 hours this was followed by the potentially UK tyre wholesale and retail-changing announcement that Sumitomo Rubber Industries had acquired Micheldever Tyre Services.
Following the news Autodata was sold yesterday, it has emerged that Solera Holdings paid some £340 million. Autodata originally sold for £143 million in May 2014 when the founders sold the business to Bowmark and Five Arrow Principal Investments. Therefore the price Solera paid represents a 137 per cent increase in Autodata’s valuation.
Solera Holdings, Inc. has agreed to acquire Autodata, a provider of technical information and knowledge solutions for the automotive service, maintenance and repair industry. “Throughout a car’s life, there are over 54 transactions that occur between motorists and automotive businesses,” said Tony Aquila, Solera’s founder, chairman and CEO. “One of Solera’s missions is to digitize the vehicle ownership ecosystem by developing cognitive applications that not only power connectivity and engagement, but also proliferate awareness and transparency across the entire automotive lifecycle.”
Autodata Limited’s online workshop application has been available for two years now, and according to Autodata, workshops that have migrated to its online application for cars and vans report at least a 30 per cent increase in efficiency. The company has now extended its online product portfolio to cover two-wheel vehicles. The technical data provided in Autodata’s new motorcycle application is directly licensed from 62 motorcycle manufacturers, covering over 8,000 motorbike models worldwide, including road bikes, off-road bikes, scooters, quad bikes, and side-by-sides.
It’s easy enough to prepare for the winter, therefore Autodata poses the question: Why then are UK drivers always so unprepared? Rather than waiting for customers’ vehicles to break down this winter, the company recommends workshops be proactive and draw upon their customer database in order to inform motorists of the raised risk of battery and other vehicle faults during the cold months.
Since Autodata Limited launched its new online workshop application two years ago, the automotive technical information provider has focused on further developing its features and user experience. This consistent evolution, addition of new practical modules and regular updates to features has now been complemented by a series of significant developments that, in Autodata Ltd’s words, “not only enhance the look and feel of Autodata, but also provide even more time-saving features and modules, that make it even easier for mechanics to select vehicles and to access the technical information they need.”
Autodata has purchased Autodata Oy Nordic, an official distributor in Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia for over 34 years. The acquisition comes a year after Autodata launched a completely new online product to provide workshops with technical information, instructions and diagnostics. Autodata Oy Nordic will take on the Autodata brand, but will retain their current offices based in Pälkäne.
Representatives of major independent automotive data publishing companies have joined forces and founded a new European Industry Association in Brussels. Created on 21 January 2016, the European Independent Automotive Data Publishers Association, referred to as ADPA, has been formed to “ensure fair access to automotive data and information and to provide competitive framework conditions for independent data publishers”, according to its founders.
Autodata has made its vast catalogue of content available to other aftermarket suppliers for integration within their own solutions, as part of an innovative new offering. Historically, this content has only been available to suppliers in raw data format or directly through Autodata’s own products, including their latest award winning workshop application used by tens of thousands of workshops around the world.
An increasing number of independent garages are carrying out routine servicing and repairs on electric, hybrid and other alternatively fuelled vehicles (AVFs), according to Autodata. The data firm has reported a 104 per increase in access to data relating to models in this category over the last quarter. The most popular information requested by Autodata subscribers included service schedules, interactive coloured wiring diagrams and wheel alignment specifications.