Avoiding the Chinese Fire Drill: Guidepoint Makes Its Products in the USA

Guidepoint products are manufactured in Houston, Texas on state-of-the-art assembly equipment.

With all the uncertainty that surrounds Chinese-made products today, dealers and customers of vehicle tracking devices made by Guidepoint Systems are enjoying an extra degree of confidence since the company’s hardware is designed and manufactured in the United States.

“We’ve been having a lot of conversations with existing and potential customers during the past several months about Chinese-made tracking devices, where they’ve voiced concerns ranging from their rising cost due to tariffs to availability to security concerns,” said Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Marketing Tom Gafford.

“I’d like to say we’ve been brilliant about our sourcing product in the U.S. due to the Trump administration’s initiatives, but we made the switch seven years ago to domestic manufacturing to better control our supply chain and manage overall costs.”

Some dealers and customers are worried about availability of Chinese-made electronics due the on-again, off-again ban involving Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE, which designs and manufactures vehicle tracking devices sold in North America under private labels.

In April, the federal government banned American companies from selling critical components to ZTE after it was discovered the company made false statements about disciplining executives for shipping U.S. goods illegally to Iran and North Korea.  ZTE reached a settlement on June 7 with the U.S. Commerce Department to pay a $1 billion penalty and shake up its corporate board to regain access to the U.S. market. But some U.S. Senators have asked to have the ban reinstated due to national security concerns about Chinese-made devices being used to steal data, eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and launch cyberattacks.

“Aside from the ZTE situation, the cost of Chinese-made vehicle tracking devices are subject to a 25 percent tariff that is scheduled to take effect on July 6,” Gafford said. “That’s caused some dealers and customers to wonder how much they will be paying for product in the near future.”

Gafford said there’s little question that it’s easier to have the devices designed and manufactured in China due to the sheer number of companies that serve the electronics industry. “We have a long-standing relationship with a contract manufacturer in Houston, and its worked out well,” he said. “But the United States doesn’t have nearly the same number of assembling companies as China.”

Either through its own brand or private labels such as Mopar EVTS and Nissan VTRS, Guidepoint provides hardware and software solutions to dealers of Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes, Mercury, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota and other vehicle brands.

“We make all of our own product in the USA, so to a good extent we control our destiny,” Gafford said. “While we took that tack to improve our supply chain management, it’s also given us an advantage if things continue to heat up on the foreign trade front. It’s a good place to be.”

Guidepoint Systems, with headquarters in Detroit and main operational facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, owns and operates response centers staffed 24/7/365 in the United States and Mexico to provide a wide range of services for rental car companies, dealerships, commercial fleet managers and individual vehicle owners. Guidepoint customer service representatives personally handle notifications of impact, theft, driver emergencies and concierge services.

To learn more about Guidepoint systems for the individual and commercial markets, please call (877) 477-3463 or write to marketing@guidepointsystems.com.

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