28 November 2000
prepares for telematics expansion
Stephen Wheatley appointed Chief Executive
Britain's number one car security, car audio and specialist mobile multi-
media company is expanding its business operations with the launch of its
new TOAD Telematics trading division. TOAD plc is currently undertaking
a series of negotiations to position the company as a frontrunner in the
field of vehicle telematic systems - with plans to launch a new branded
service next year.
TOAD believes that the market, which analysts are predicting will be
worth in excess of £30 billion by 2010, requires a low-cost location
device linked to a range of 'pay as you go' services such as SOS,
navigation, traffic information, route guidance, hotel and restaurant
guides and booking, nearest petrol station routing, e-mail, and internet
access on demand - and all voice activated - supported by TOAD's
extensive call centre, distribution and installation infrastructure.
The company, which reported net profits up over 300% to £2 million, on
£32 million turnover during 1999, will continue to expand its core
business both in the UK and across Europe, with its planned joint venture
in France scheduled to launch in Paris in March next year. The trading
format will provide the blueprint for rolling out TOAD's products and
services across Europe.
NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE
TOAD's new drive into the telematics sphere will be spearheaded by
Stephen Wheatley, who was today appointed as the new Chief Executive of
TOAD plc. Mr Wheatley, who was a founder of Tracker Network plc from its
formation until it was sold last year, was one of the original team that
established Tracker Network plc in the UK and is a leading expert in the
telematic market, with considerable experience in launching new vehicle
John Lewin, CEO for the past three years, will take on a special projects
role, responsible for the development of the existing core business.
The decision to appoint Stephen Wheatley as the new Chief Executive was
formally ratified by the Board on 27 November 2000 and his appointment,
and the resignation from the Board of John Lewin, will be effective from
Dr Chris Evans OBE, TOAD's chairman, said today; 'Toad is recognised as
one of the country's leading car technology companies and has an existing
operational infrastructure and customer database which is perfectly
suited to deliver new technology products and services into the vehicle
aftermarket. We have spent the past year testing and analysing the UK's
existing telematics products and I am delighted that Stephen will be
taking the company into this exciting and dynamic new market.
'John Lewin will hand over to Stephen Wheatley as CEO but will
concentrate his proven talents on business development. He has done an
excellent job and the company's current healthy commercial position is a
credit to his tireless efforts over the last three years'.
Stephen Wheatley, TOAD's new chief executive, said; 'While our dominant
position will remain in the automotive multi-media and security
marketplace, we intend to maximise on our extensive customer base of the
leading insurance, fleet, and leasing companies to build a prominent
position in this new and exciting market.
'The motor car is increasingly becoming the platform for access to
services which have traditionally been available through fixed land lines
- but this is changing rapidly and radically. However the real future
value is not in the supply of hardware but the ability to provide access
to the services that the systems require.
'Open architecture software which releases the potential of the hardware
is the key to future growth.'
John Lewin said; 'I am excited at the prospect of Stephen Wheatley, with
all his extensive experience in telematics, now taking over as CEO and
driving the company forward to build a substantial new telematics
Stephen Wheatley may be contacted at Toad on 020-8710 4016.
Stuart Gall, marketing director, is on 020-8710 4016.
Issued on behalf of TOAD plc
November 27th 2000
By Tony Edwards
ANTHONY EDWARDS LONDON LIMITED
TEL 01932 336161
FAX 01932 336131