Mannesmann TeleCommerce GmbH with its telematics division PASSO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mannesmann AG, which was recently acquired by the British- based Vodafone AirTouch Plc., announced today it has purchased an approximate 20 percent equity stake of ATX Technologies, Inc. Both companies see this investment as a significant step in providing telematics and location-based services on both sides of the Atlantic, especially to automotive customers.

ATX is the leading independent provider of telematics services in North America, serving over 100,000 subscribers through such customers as Mercedes- Benz, Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Jaguar and the Infiniti division of Nissan.

Mannesmann TeleCommerce with PASSO and ATX Technologies are already successful in their own market places. The liaison will benefit many of their mutual customers — automotive manufacturers — who need global telematics solutions. The move also promotes a consistent service offering for automotive customers within the European and North American markets. In addition, the companies have aggressive plans for expanding location-based service into wireless industries and Internet services.

“We share with ATX the same vision for telematics. The transfer of location-based data to and from a vehicle or wireless handset provides the mobile person, at the press of a button, enhanced safety, convenience and information,” said Michael Sonnenschein, managing director of Mannesmann TeleCommerce GmbH.

“For years our customers have asked us to support their European telematics efforts and until now we have not been able to help,” noted Steve Millstein, ATX president and chief executive officer. “By providing common, trans-Atlantic telematics services, we will be able to reduce costs for automotive companies and their customers by using a common wireless protocol and common hardware platforms.”

Mannesmann TeleCommerce with its PASSO telematics division currently provides telematics services via GSM wireless communications to automotive manufacturers, fleet operators, wireless networks and on the Internet. ASSO’s customers include BMW, who offers telematics services packages across its car model range. The services are currently operated in Germany with the U.K. to follow later this year and other major European markets shortly thereafter. PASSO also currently offers Internet and WAP-based personalized traveler services and operates data gateways such as Short Message Services (SMS) and customized WAP-gateways for key customers.

PASSO provides expertise in the processing of highly accurate traffic information via Floating Car Data (FCD) — a procedure to determine the traffic situation onboard a moving vehicle and to transfer compressed data via cellular to the services center for traffic information processing. PASSO pioneered commercialized broadcasting of traffic information via cellular broadcast in GSM networks, a service which today is already operational in Germany.

ATX pioneered in-vehicle telematics in the United States when in early 1996 it partnered with Ford Motor Co. and Motorola to introduce the first in- vehicle telematics program, Lincoln RESCU.

About Mannesmann TeleCommerce:

Mannesmann TeleCommerce GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mannesmann AG, was founded with a merger of Mannesmann Datenverarbeitung GmbH and Mannesmann Passo GmbH in January 2000. Mannesmann TeleCommerce has now established itself as an international IT service company. The company’s main focus will be on continuing its telecommunications strategy and the development and processing of eCommerce solutions. The majority of Mannesmann TeleCommerce’s 1100 employees are based at company headquarters in Ratingen near Dusseldorf. The Passo telematics division within Mannesmann TeleCommerce provides network- and device-independent high quality telematics and location-based services to automotive industries, fleet operators and network providers. Such services include automatic crash notification, emergency and roadside assistance, traffic information, navigational and concierge services and vehicle-related services such as telemetry and car diagnostics. For more information on Mannesmann TeleCommerce visit, for more information on the Passo division see

About ATX Technologies:

ATX Technologies is headquartered in San Antonio with offices in Dallas and Detroit. ATX provides leading-edge telematics (wireless location-based) services to the automobile manufacturing and wireless communications industries. Its telematics services include automatic collision notification, location-based emergency response and roadside assistance, stolen vehicle tracking, navigation and other location-based information services. The company also pioneered automotive after market applications of telematics beginning in 1995 and in 1999 introduced telematics services on handheld, wireless communication devices. For more information on ATX, visit