Octo Telematics Enters U.S. Insurance Telematics Marketplace, Names Chief Executive Officer

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Octo Telematics North America will provide auto insurance-telematics services to Seattle-based Safeco Insurance, a member of Liberty Mutual Group

The new company is headquartered in Southern California and is a joint venture between Directed Electronics and Octo Telematics SpA

Octo Telematics, the fastest growing provider of advanced telematics systems and services to the auto and insurance industries worldwide, today announced its entry into the United States insurance telematics marketplace through a joint venture with Directed Electronics, and the appointment of Nino Tarantino to chief executive officer. With the launch of its U.S. operations, Octo Telematics North America is poised to offer its comprehensive range of vehicle telematics solutions to the considerable North American automotive insurance market: from usage-based insurance, driving behavior and mileage reporting, to safety and security services, crash kinematics and dynamics reconstruction.

Octo Telematics will provide auto insurance-telematics services to Seattle-based Safeco Insurance, a member of Liberty Mutual Group, and Octo Telematics’ first U.S. insurance customer.

Mr. Tarantino, who had previously served as Octo Telematics’ Head of Business Development in the U.S., brings 25 years of experience to the role stemming from a range of general management, operations and business development positions in the U.S. and around the world.

“The Octo Telematics North America board unanimously selected Nino,” said Fabio Sbianchi, CEO, Octo Telematics S.p.A. and Octo Telematics North America Board Member. “He has built several companies from the ground up, knows how to grow and inspire a team and satisfy a rapidly growing customer base in an even faster growing market. Our time working with Nino this past year sealed the deal and we know he’s the right person to expand on our success in Europe to North America.”

With the launch of its North American operations, Octo Telematics can now offer its end-to-end vehicle telematics solutions to the considerable U.S. automotive insurance market. With more than a million active subscribers and more than 50 Insurance partners worldwide, Octo Telematics has significant experience with automotive usage based insurance programs for which it received the 2010 Frost & Sullivan Award for Growth Leadership. With a growth rate over the past five years of more than 1100%, Octo was also featured in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA 2010 ranking.

Directed Electronics is the largest designer and marketer in North America of consumer-branded vehicle security and remote start systems, with extensive experience in automotive OEM and aftermarket logistics and client care. “Our union with Octo Telematics represents a unique opportunity for both companies to expand into the U.S. Insurance Telematics market, and we look forward to a very successful relationship,” said Kevin Duffy, President of Directed Electronics and Octo Telematics North America Board Member.

Directed Electronics owns Viper®, Clifford®, Autostart® and other popular brands in the automotive industry and is known for their top technical customer care service, logistics and direct-to-consumer experience. Directed Electronics was recently named Manufacturer of the Year at Mobile Electronics Magazine’s 2010 Dealers’ Choice Awards.

About Octo Telematics North America

Octo Telematics North America, LLC is an advanced Telematics Service Provider (TSP) that provides advanced telematics services and systems to the insurance and automotive markets. The company is headquartered in Southern California and is a joint venture between Directed Electronics and Octo Telematics SpA, based in Italy.

With more than one million active customers and the largest insurance telematics statistical database in the world, Octo Telematics is the global leader in the research, development and management of cutting-edge telematics applications for auto insurance. Its services have achieved widespread acceptance, most recently adding an average of over 1,400 new customers each day and connecting with more than 50 different insurers worldwide. Octo Telematics was founded in Rome in 2002 and operates internationally today with offices and partners throughout the world.

Directed Electronics is the largest designer and marketer in North America of consumer-branded vehicle security and remote start systems, with extensive experience in automotive OEM and aftermarket logistics and client care. Founded in 1982, the company is a business unit of DEI Holdings, Inc. with primary operations located in Vista, California and Montreal, Canada.

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