DEARBORN, Mich., July 31, 2000 -- Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced the creation of a new company that will develop and deliver wireless mobility and information services that will bring voice, entertainment, Internet access and safety services into cars and trucks.
Known at present as Wingcast, the new company will become a comprehensive provider of telematics services to global consumers. The new company will work with the leading industry hardware, software, and content providers to offer state-of-the-art, in-vehicle applications to consumers.
Ford Motor Company cars and trucks will be the initial recipients of these newly developed products and services. Ford expects more than a million of its new cars and trucks to be equipped by the end of 2002, three million by 2003 and virtually all of its cars and trucks by the end of 2004, with the level and depth of services increasing each year during that period.
"Wingcast is Ford's vehicle for redefining the future of mobile communications," said Jac Nasser, Ford Motor Company president and chief executive officer. "We are not only transforming the automobile into the next mobile portal, but also are creating a new company that will develop and deliver a collection of leading-edge technologies and services."
"The wireless and telematics industries are at a pivotal point as we approach a new era of the wireless Internet," said Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm. "Beginning next year, evolved and new CDMA cellular networks will enable high-speed, widely available, low-cost access to the information superhighway. Wingcast will support a broad range of mobile services and become the first portal to offer consumers unparalleled wireless Internet access."
Combining Qualcomm's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) wireless technology with Ford Motor Company's telematics and consumer expertise, Wingcast will bring to consumers seamless access to applications and services including communication, information, navigation, entertainment, safety and security from their cars and trucks as well as any compatible mobile device or computer. Located in San Diego, Calif., Wingcast plans to introduce its first services in cars and trucks in late 2001.
Harel Kodesh, formerly of Microsoft, has been chosen to lead Wingcast as its president and CEO. "Harel Kodesh is the right choice to lead the creation of wireless, in-vehicle services for our global consumers," said Brian Kelley, vice president of Ford and president, ConsumerConnect. "His depth of expertise and experience will jump-start our new venture."
"Qualcomm is focused on driving demand for high-speed, high-capacity wireless data through the wireless Internet that is enabled by all forms of CDMA, including cdmaOne, cdma2000 and WCDMA," said Paul E. Jacobs, executive vice president and the next president of Qualcomm. "Wingcast's new services will extend beyond the car, providing the critical mass of customers to drive new technologies and standards into the automotive, telecommunications and Internet industries."
Nissan is working with Ford Motor Company and Qualcomm to bring Wingcast services into certain luxury vehicles. Nissan may extend the use of these applications to a broader selection of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in the future.
"Wingcast services will enable Nissan customers to access the information and applications most relevant in a mobile environment," said Ron D'Amico, vice president, Nissan Technical Center North America. "Wingcast goes beyond standard automotive applications to offer users greater security, information and entertainment applications that they can access anytime, not only from within the car, but also from a variety of wireless devices."
"Cars and trucks will soon become the fastest growing mobile platform for seamless communications and digital information services," said Kodesh. "Wingcast will leverage best-of-breed technologies to deliver unique capabilities that are completely focused on the customers and their experiences."
Ford and Qualcomm each will own equity in Wingcast, but terms have not been disclosed. Additionally, Cartell, a Romulus, Mich.-based supplier of telematics equipment to automakers, is a minority equity stakeholder in the company.
Wingcast services will be available initially in North America over cdmaOne™ digital wireless networks. Advanced offerings using high-speed wireless data will become available as third-generation cdma2000 and WCDMA networks roll out.
Ford Motor Company (www.ford.com) is the world's leading truck manufacturer and the second largest manufacturer of cars and trucks combined. Worldwide revenues in 1999 exceeded $162 billion with net income at a record $7.2 billion. More than 20,000 dealers serve customers in more than 200 markets. Ford's automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Th!nk, and Volvo. Other major businesses include Ford Credit and Hertz.
In July, Ford Motor Company, headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., reported record second-quarter operating earnings of $2.7 billion, the 17th consecutive quarter of improved operating results. Worldwide car and truck sales in 1999 exceeded 7.2 million units.
Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on the company's CDMA digital technology. Qualcomm's business areas include integrated CDMA chipsets and systems software, technology licensing, Eudora® e-mail software for Windows® and Macintosh® computing platforms, and satellite-based systems including OmniTRACS® and portions of the Globalstar™ system and wireless fleet management systems, OmniTRACS® and OmniExpress™. Qualcomm owns patents, which are essential to all of the CDMA wireless telecommunications standards that have been adopted or proposed for adoption by standards-setting bodies worldwide. Qualcomm has licensed its essential CDMA patent portfolio to more then 80 telecommunications equipment manufacturers worldwide. Headquartered in San Diego, Qualcomm is included in the Standard&Poor's 500 Index and is a 2000 Fortune 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol QCOM.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including timely product development, Wingcast's ability to successfully develop and provide services on a timely and profitable basis, and those related to changes in economic conditions of the various markets the company will serve, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in Ford's or Qualcomm's SEC reports.