Netstar, a subsidiary of JSE-listed technology company Altron, has set up an office in Malaysia and is exploring expansion opportunities in Indonesia.
The company pioneered the vehicle tracking and stolen vehicle recovery industry in South Africa in 1994.
Netstar operations extend into Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia, and the organisation has customers throughout the rest of Africa and Australia.
“We have set up an office in Malaysia with a local partner and are looking at expansion throughout South East Asia with Indonesia being the next market we are focusing on, our Australian operation has offices throughout that country,” Pierre Bruwer, Netstar’s Managing Director, told TechFinancials on Thursday.
In August last year, Toyota South Africa partnered with Altron and Vodacom Business to roll-out connectivity features and in-car Wi-Fi on all new Toyota and Lexus models.
Known as Toyota Connect, the new connectivity hub is within the MyToyota App.
The technology allows Toyota owners access to a myriad of convenience, connectivity and safety benefits.
The partnership with Toyota South Africa is a success and Netstar is busy exploring ways to globalise its service.
Bruwer said Netstar had deployed over 100 000 systems in Toyota South Africa’s cars since the inception of the partnership.
For more read: Toyota, Altron, Vodacom Collaborate to Enable in-Car WiFi
He added that the company in Malaysia had implemented a telematics service with UBI (Usage-based Insurance) options with the top five insurers.
“Further to this, we are embarking on a POC (proof of concept) for the remote start of their vehicles directly from the APP this will allow Toyota guests in Malaysia to start their vehicles to allow for cooling of vehicle interior before embarking on a trip,” Bruwer explained.
“Indonesia, we are embarking on a connected car strategy with enabled telematics, UBI, and Etainment, Australia differs as our approach in Australia is for the fleet segment of the market creating fleet telematics and OEM telematics in the market.”
The company said it would continue to work through Toyota South Africa into Toyota Japan for the immediate future.
Although Toyota Japan fully approves all the Netstar products, the programs are managed through the local Toyota South African technical and quality teams to their Toyota Japan counterparts, said Bruwer.
“This ensures that while we are supporting the local Toyota facility we are also learning the requirements needed to allow us to engage with Toyota Japan at a future date. “
Globally we see a drive-by all motor manufacturers to embark on a connected car strategy.
“Our services offer multiple touchpoints in the value chain, the OEM, Dealerships, Finance, and Insurance as well as warranty and service plan management,” Bruwer said.
Asked whether the company was planning to partner with other carmakers, Bruwer said: “Most definitely and we are already at advanced stages of negotiation with additional car manufacturers both locally and Internationally.”