This new range will be launched in France in the second quarter of 2008 and could be later on exported to other European countries. The Navigon-ViaMichelin PNDs will offer optional Michelin’s travel guides and will benefit from the convergence with the ViaMichelin website that offers a one click export function to the current range of ViaMichelin PNDs.
“We are very happy to expand our French operations thanks to Via Michelin expertise. In working together French consumers will enjoy the best products available on the market,” said Peter Scheufen, President of Navigon.
With this agreement Navigon is definitely accelerating its development on the French market which is the third biggest country for PND sales in Europe after Germany and the United Kingdom.
In 2007 around 2.45 million Personal Navigation Devices have been sold in France. A 37 percent increase to 3.35 million is expected for 2008 according to GFK market data given to GPS Business News last month (read more here). ViaMichelin was enjoying so far about 13 percent market share while Navigon was around two percent indicated French online publication Mobinaute today. Quoted in this article, Yann Le Dantec, Head of Navigon France expects to establish a 10% market share on the French market moving forward.
It is definitely a smart move for Navigon which will get its cost down by increasing its volumes and benefit from ViaMichelin’s brand, rich travel content and web platform. On a global scale Navigon is performing rather well. The company has outsmarted LG, Pioneer and others to get on the top five spot in the United States. When Navigon announced 10 months ago it would become not only a navigation software editor but also - and mainly - a PND manufacturer, we were a bit skeptical (read our March 2007 article here). Nowadays we can see the execution of this strategy is well advanced and starting to bear some fruits.