Katara Simmons/News-Sun Agero, formerly known as Cross Country, may have a new name on the building in south Sebring after the company was recently purchased by SiriusXM.
published: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
SiriusXm purchases Agero
By BARRY FOSTER
SEBRING -- It is held out as the crown jewel of achievement of the Highlands County Industrial Development Authority/Economic Development Commission's effort to bring business to the area.
Once known as Cross Country, the location in the old Walmart store in the DeSoto Square Shopping Plaza became the southern hub of communications for drivers in distress who needed help at the turn of the millennium.
Using OnStar or similar systems, motorists could press a button and be connected to an operator in the heart of Highlands County.
It was in 2011 that Cross Country Automotive Services announced its transition to their new brand name, Agero, and its accompanying tagline "Safe. Smart. Driven." was developed as an international brand to "reflect the company's core values of delivering safety, leveraging technology and staying focused on providing innovative solutions for users and providers of mobile services."
Both names are displayed on the front of the building at the company's current location.
A new name may go up soon. The firm reportedly has been bought lock, stock and barrel by satellite radio giant SiriusXM. Last week, Sirius officials announced that they had entered into a "definitive agreement" to acquire the connected vehicle services business of Agero for a reported $530 million in cash.
Agero's connected vehicle unit is said to be the nation's leading provider of "innovative telematics services" which "offer safety, security and convenience services for drivers." For automakers, Agero's services are termed "turnkey solutions."
Following the acquisition, it was announced that SiriusXM would provide connected vehicle services to a number of additional automotive manufacturers. Names mentioned in a company press release include Acura, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota.
SiriusXM Chief Executive Officer Jim Meyer said the deal would allow Sirius to provide services both via satellite and cellular networks. It also would accelerate the company's plan to develop additional opportunities in the field of connected vehicle services.
"The acquisition of Agero's connected vehicle business is a natural fit for SiriusXM. As the world's leading provider of in-vehicle subscription services, SiriusXM is uniquely positioned to offer world-class end-to-end telematics services," Meyer said
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.
It was in 2001 that Cross Country Automotive Services announced their intention to open a location in Highlands County. Established as the firm's fourth contact services location, initially, they installed just 260 seats in the 37,000-square-foot building.
There were 375 jobs created at the time with the new firm. The Sebring contact center provided emergency response services to those covered under new car warranty programs, insurance policies, or affinity memberships.
From the onset, it was a round-the-clock operation with clients including over half of the automotive brands -- including Chrysler, Dodge and BMW, among others. Also availing themselves of Cross Country's services were half of the nation's top property/casualty insurance companies and several wireless carriers, financial institutions and affinity groups.
During a presentation before Highlands County commissioners last month, former IDA/EDC chairman John Shoop mentioned that there was an expansion planned at the Agero location, but made no mention of the buyout by Sirius XM.
Innacurate Information (by: Frank - 9/5/2013)
Barry....quite the reporter I see. Quoting innacurate information.
WRONG (by: JOE - 9/5/2013)
ONLY CV IS BEING SOLD NOT ROADSIDE AGERO WILL STILL BE HERE, THYE JUST SOLD THE ATX PORTIONS. GET YOUR STORY RIGHT.
Agero (by: Citizen - 9/5/2013)
Barry....would help if you get your facts straight before publishing a story that is grossly inaccurate.
agero (by: agero employee - 9/4/2013)
before reporting lets get the story correct and stop building on incorrect hype, 'The firm reportedly has been bought lock, stock and barrel by satellite radio giant SiriusXM', incorrect. one department within agero was bought. not agero itself.
cross country (by: woody - 9/4/2013)
crown jewel? low pay, bad bosses.
Sirius buyout. (by: SunNLake33872 - 9/4/2013)
Marvelous news. Expansion of yet another minimum wage/part time, sweatshop/boiler room.
Correction (by: -Stu - 9/4/2013)
Agero sold only part of their business, the connected vehicle portion mentioned in this article. They are retaining the Roadside Assistance business and will remain in current operations and still under same name.
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