Back in 2008 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, we got to spend some time in a Jeep Grand Cherokee outfitted with a bunch of technogoodies from Hughes Telematics. And again at this year's CES, Hughes let us play with even cooler stuff in a Dodge Journey. They bragged of downloadable apps for your Chrysler-branded vehicle and super-cool, futuristic travel guides from your in-dash nav system. Stuff that might convince someone to actually purchase a Journey.
But, alas, since then, Chrysler went bankrupt and it seems the company's relationship with Hughes soured. In an official statement Hughes tells Autoblog:
New Chrysler introduced additional business terms that were not part of either the prior business discussions or the original arrangement. As a result, we reached an impasse in the negotiations and are ceasing our work with new Chrysler to deploy our hardware and launch our services with them in the fourth quarter of 2009, as was previously planned.That's okay, Hughes says, because they still have Mercedes-Benz as a customer, and they don't need Chrysler anymore. We're not financial experts by any means, but as we stumbled through the SEC report, it was obvious Hughes had invested a lot of time, money and emotions into making things work with Chrysler and that it might take a while to get over losing the bond they once cherished.
In any case, you can read the SEC filing for yourself here or check out Hughes' full official statement to Autoblog after the jump. Thanks for the tip, MBAcurafan!
Related GalleryHughes Telematics at CES 2008
Official Statement from Hughes Telematics:
Chrysler, like many automakers has faced significant challenges during this economic downturn, resulting in their filing for bankruptcy protection. HUGHES Telematics (HTI) has continued to support the Chrysler telematics program through the bankruptcy process and the formation of new Chrysler, which took over the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep businesses from the bankrupt company. HTI and new Chrysler each sought to renegotiate the partnership contract to address specific business issues that were important to each company. To that end, HTI has been diligently negotiating a new telematics services agreement with new Chrysler, while also continuing in good faith to support the original program with our resources. Recently, new Chrysler introduced additional business terms that were not part of either the prior business discussions or the original arrangement. As a result, we reached an impasse in the negotiations and are ceasing our work with new Chrysler to deploy our hardware and launch our services with them in the fourth quarter of 2009, as was previously planned.
While we are disappointed at this outcome, we continue our dialogue with other OEMs and are enjoying great successes with Mercedes and in the aftermarket space with our in-Drive product and Networkfleet. At the same time, we are exploring exciting opportunities in other related markets.
# # #