Lear Is Buying Connected Vehicle Company Xevo For $320 Million

By Dan Anderson ● April 3, 2019

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Photo Credit: Xevo

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Southfield, Michigan-based automotive seating systems company Lear announced it is acquiring Seattle-based connected vehicle company Xevo for $320 million. As part of the deal, Lear is buying all the outstanding shares in Xevo — which will be funded through debt financing.

“With the acquisition of Xevo, Lear advances its leadership position in the global trends reshaping the automotive industry,” said Lear CEO Ray Scott in a statement. “This transaction is consistent with our stated capital allocation strategy. It allows us to enhance our capabilities in software, services, and data analytics and strengthen our market position in connectivity. Xevo’s world-class team will bring an invaluable pool of experience and expertise to our organization, and I am delighted to welcome them to the Lear family.”

Xevo’s Journeyware enables drivers and passengers to adjust the settings of vehicles and access mobile applications through the in-car entertainment system. This technology is available in more than 25 million vehicles. And the Xevo Market platform provides vehicle passengers with information about nearby points of interest. Plus it can be used for booking hotel rooms and ordering coffee.

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“Automakers have embraced the potential of Xevo’s e-commerce platform, as well as the deeply customizable driver experiences made possible by Xevo’s artificial intelligence technology,” added Xevo CEO Dan Gittleman. “Today, with Lear’s reach, we can scale Xevo’s innovative technology and business model to a global customer base.”

Originally, Lear started out as American Metal Products in Detroit back in 1917 and now the company is hitting more than $20 billion in annual revenue and employs about 169,000 people. Xevo was founded in 2000 under the name UIEveolution before the name was changed in 2016 after the company acquired smart camera software company Surround.io.

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“The acquisition of Xevo broadens Lear’s connectivity portfolio, bringing together Xevo’s leading e-commerce vehicle platform technology with Lear’s expertise in electronic systems,” explained Lear chief technology officer John Absmeier. “Xevo’s user interface establishes a connected marketplace for consumers in their vehicles, unlocking previously unrealized value from vehicle data and opening up new revenue streams.”

Recently Lear announced it is partnering with Techstars Detroit. And the Techstars Detroit program will take place at the Lear Innovation Center in downtown Detroit.