South African Tech Firm That Recovers Stolen Cars Plans U.S. Expansion

South African Tech Firm That Recovers Stolen Cars Plans U.S. Expansion

A major South African tech company that is publicly traded on the Johannesburg stock exchange may open U.S. headquarters in Orlando, Florida, bringing with it more than 100 high-paying jobs, according to reports in the OrlandoSentinel and OrlandoBusinessJournal.

Johannesburg-based Cartrack S.A. is known for tracking stolen cars using GPS. It specializes in stolen-car recovery products that use a global mobile network and radio frequency technology.

Cartrack has more than 500 employees and claims to have 450,000 clients worldwide.

The state of Florida hopes to land the company by offering an incentive package of $720,000.

When Cartrack was founded in 2001, South Africa had seen a wave of vehicle hijacking, one of the highest reported rates in the world, according to Orlando Sentinel. The company now claims to have a 94-percent recovery rate for stolen vehicles. It has expanded to several types of GPS services, fleet-management software and auto insurance software services.

If the deal is approved with the city of Orlando, approved, Cartrack will create 120 jobs by Dec. 31, 2018, with an average annual pay of $63,906 (836,171 rand) according to city documents.

Orlando will provide 20 percent of the total package, or $144,000, which amounts to $1,200 for each job created, according to the incentive deal. The deal is up for approval by the Orlando City Council at its upcoming meeting Oct. 19.

In addition to Orlando, Cartrack also is also considering California and Texas for its expansion, OrlandoBusinessJournal reported.

In the U.S., 699,594 vehicles were reported stolen in 2013, down 3.3 percent from 2012, according to the FBI, the Insurance Information Institute reports.

Nine of the top 10 U.S. cities with the highest rate of vehicle theft in 2013 were in California, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. One was in Texas.

In South Africa 55,115 motor vehicles were stolen per year in 2014-2015 (an average of 151 per day) according to SAPS Crime Statistics, Daily Maverick reported.

Cartrack has an in-house team of recovery agents and offers a money-back guarantee “in the unlikely event of non-recovery,” Orlando Sentinel reported. In its 2014 video ads, the company’s tagline was, “because your car could disappear at any time – right before your eyes.”