Goodyear buys Ventech, German maker of tire inspection systems

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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NASDAQ: GT) is purchasing tire inspection technology manufacturer Ventech Systems Gmbh for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2006, Ventech provides tire inspection systems for buses, trucks, cars and other commercial vehicles. The target’s devices are capable of checking tire pressure, tread depth and vehicle weight. Dorsten, Germany-based Ventech was previously owned by Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH, and will now join Goodyear’s proactive solutions division which launched last year.

"Over the past three years, our Goodyear Proactive Solutions business has collaborated with Ventech Systems to integrate its data gathering and analysis capabilities into our fleet management solution," states Goodyear vice president Christopher Helsel. "Feedback from our fleet customers has been excellent, and we view this as an important opportunity to enhance our service and value proposition for customers."

Truck tire care and maintenance, according to Goodyear, is one of the largest contributors to commercial fleet uptime and total cost of operations. Founded in 1898, Goodyear is a tire manufacturing company based in Akron, Ohio. The buyer's new division launched in Europe, Middle East and the Africa region to offer a portfolio of vehicle-to-fleet operations management tools. The division was established to support fleet owners who want to improve vehicle and fleet safety, decrease fuel use, reduce carbon output, and to support their expansion in the age of digital transformation. The deal for Ventech is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The automotive industry is seeing a major shift, as vehicles are being made with additional technologies and software. From self-driving cars to connected devices, the auto tech sector is highly fragmented and tech providers are being acquired as more companies invest in the sector. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) agreed to buy GPS vehicle-tracking company Fleetmatics Group plc for $2.4 billion in 2016. Fleetmatics, based in Dublin, develops software that tracks commercial drivers’ vehicle location, fuel usage, speed and mileage. Also in 2016, Samsung Electronics Co. said it will pay $8 billion for Stamford, Connecticut-based Harman International Industries Inc. (NYSE: HAR), which makes software used to connect auto audio systems.

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