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AUTOINFO FORMS JOINT VENTURE TO ENTER AUTOMOBILE PHOTO INSPECTION BUSINESS

 AUTOINFO FORMS JOINT VENTURE TO ENTER
 AUTOMOBILE PHOTO INSPECTION BUSINESS
 MAYWOOD, N.J., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- AutoInfo, Inc. (NASDAQ: AUTO), the nation's largest supplier of data communications services to the auto salvage industry, announced today that it has formed a joint venture with National Automotive Certification (NAC), a privately held company based in Parsippany, N.J., to provide photo inspection services to the automobile insurance industry. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Florida currently mandate photo inspection of vehicles insured in these states, and a similar law is scheduled to take effect in California in 1992.
 Photo inspection programs reduce insurance fraud and costs by making it impossible to insure non-existent vehicles or to exaggerate claims for damage that occurred prior to an accident. Typically, policyholders arrange for a photo inspection from a list of approved sites provided by the insurance carrier.
 NAC, which commenced operations in 1988, employs state-of-the-art technology in providing the insurance carrier with photo inspection services. Using digitized cameras and proprietary software that runs on a desktop workstation, NAC provides insurance carriers with the only image processing system that integrates text and photographs in a single computer record, which can be retrieved either electronically or as high-quality hard copy. NAC currently performs approximately 100,000 photo inspections per year in New Jersey at 450 inspection sites for 10 automobile insurance carriers. Approximately 500,000 inspections are performed annually in New Jersey. The joint venture plans to provide its service in New York commencing in early 1992.
 "We see significant growth opportunities for this joint venture as additional insurance carriers add us to their approved lists based on the advantages of a fully digitized image processing system over the less sophisticated technology now offered by competitors," said AutoInfo President Martin Rubin. He added that government-mandated photo inspection is a business characterized by high recurring revenue and substantial growth potential as more states adopt inspection programs. For example, Rubin estimated that the market for photo inspection services in California will exceed 4 million vehicles annually.
 Rubin added that NAC recently has been added to several insurance carriers' approved lists in New Jersey, which he expects to lead to an increase in the joint venture's market share in New Jersey. In addition, he said that New Jersey's state-run automobile insurance program ends in 1993, which could double the size of the market as drivers formerly insured in the state program must arrange private coverage which will require photo inspection of most vehicles.
 AutoInfo will have a 51 percent interest in the joint venture in exchange for an initial cash investment of $550,000, and a commitment to fund up to a total of $1.4 million. Rubin said that NAC's current revenues are approximately $100,000 per month and that the partnership is expected to report small operating losses, "probably less than $100,000 per quarter," before achieving profitability on higher revenue in mid-1992.
 AutoInfo provides communications and computer services to more than 3,000 auto parts salvage dealers in 49 states and 10 Canadian provinces. The company operates one of the largest satellite networks in North America and provides database services to major automobile insurance companies.
 -0- 12/11/91
 /CONTACT: AutoInfo Public Relations, 201-712-0020/
 (AUTO) CO: AutoInfo, Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: AUT SU: JVN


CK-JT -- NY051 -- 1499 12/11/91 13:11 EST
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Date:Dec 11, 1991
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