TU talks to Carlos Nogueira, president and founder of Nogueira Business Consultants, about the need for partnerships in delivering telematics to Brazil
What does your company do?
Nogueira Business Consultants was created several years ago with the purpose of bringing the best technology in the world to the Latin America automotive market.
We do that by partnering with major worldwide players and helping them find the right customers and partners to leverage their products and services in Latin America, one of the fastest growing automotive markets in the world.
What partnerships are you currently forging in the LATAM space and elsewhere?
Telematics, as well as the automotive industry, is a worldwide business where you need to think globally but act regionally to succeed respecting the specific consumer’s regional trends.
My company’s goal is to provide the regional “translation” that will make businesses as successful in this part of the world as they have been elsewhere.
My goal is to bring a wider array of Telematics related suppliers to add value to businesses and make life easier for Latin American drivers.
Which trends will impact the emerging LATAM telematics industry the most in the coming years and why?
The creation of a law mandate for tracking devices to be installed in every vehicle to be sold in the Brazilian market (resolution 245) has impacted the market in both positive and negative ways.
On the upside, it brought a lot of attention due to its potential volumes and attracted interest of some international players to participate in a market that was only populated by regional companies.
Of course, the HW manufacturer’s biggest players have been in the market for a while, but the telematics business model goes beyond the traditional Tier 1-OEM product supply.
In the LATAM market right now, there is a lack of applications to run within the telematics network.
We need real-time traffic to go with navigation. If you have ever been in Sao Paulo, you need to know how the traffic is in the route you are taking and not all over the city.
People need internet hubs to connect several devices inside the car when a family is traveling the big distances in the country roads to visit friends and family.
Drivers and their families need the same level of connectivity they have at home or in the office when they are in the car. Infotainment options for long weekends and vacation trips with the family (Brazil is a country with continental dimensions!) will become a market tool for car sales.
So, I see features like these being introduced as a market differentiator in vehicles. Once people get used to their availability they will drive the market growth and new applications will be demanded by the market.
The bad news is the fact that everybody is waiting for the law to get in place and that is holding the development of the real market required applications.
That is one of the reasons why I believe the first Telematics Brazil & LATAM 2011 conference will be a landmark to bring together all the players that can make things happen.
The law implementation will be a boost in devices volume but the real challenge will be to offer applications and services that people will be willing to pay for.
Otherwise those devices would never be activated.
How important do you think this emerging market will be for you and the telematics industry in 2011 and beyond?
There are not too many fast-growing automotive markets around the world nowadays.
China is no doubt the leader on that category for years to come due to its enormous population and lack of development and is already getting a lot of attention.
If we look in other places like Japan, Europe, and North America, there is not a lot of growth forecasted for the upcoming years.
Latin America has been showing consistent growth during the last 10 years, and for some vehicle manufacturers it has been the first or second profit source for years.
Brazil, the biggest country in the region, has a fleet of more than 32 million vehicles on the road today but still a ratio of only 5.9 inhabitants per vehicle, combined with more than 200 million mobile phones.
The potential for keeping connectivity for all those customers while driving is also helped by recent laws that forbid to talk in a mobile phone while driving without a hands free system, does not allow navigation maps without turn by turn speaker and requires every vehicle sold in the country to have a factory installed tracking device.
Lastly, could you tell us which gadgets/gizmos/cars are on your 2011 wish list?
I love the German technology for cars and I always have the newest BMWs and Mercedes cars on my wish list. Driving a family of five on the weekends, I look more into the crossover types instead of the sedans.
Both new Mercedes and BMWs have great on board connectivity. The problem to connect all my devices is the lack of availability of services in the region. There is no Internet or Satellite radio services, no internet vehicle hub technology, no real traffic information integrated with navigation and not a lot of car diagnosis and maintenance tools.
I am counting with the technology and connectivity all those companies participating in the Telematics Brazil & LATAM 2011 Conference and Exhibition will introduce to the region to make my life easier.
The other 60 million drivers on the Latin America roads are waiting too!