Mio closing business in the US



Mio's Knight Rider: it takes more than that to compete with Garmin and TomTom
Mio's Knight Rider: it takes more than that to compete with Garmin and TomTom
Mio Technology, the subsidiary of Taiwanese PND manufacturer MiTAC is said to close its doors in the United States. From 30 employees only three are remaining according to a source close to the business. Radio Shack seems to be the only large retailer where Mio’s products are still sold today.

The new management brought in last summer has not been able to turn around the situation. The market share of Mio in the United States sinked severely in the last quarter of 2008. The acquisition of Magellan by MiTAC in the first days of 2009 confirmed the failure of Mio on the US market. However at that time it was not very clear if Mio would continue as a B brand along Magellan or disappear. It seems to be very clear now.

While still a well known brand, Magellan will have to be turned around too to resist the pressure of both the market leaders Garmin and TomTom and the challengers, Nextar and NAVIGON. Can MiTAC do a better job with Magellan than with Mio? Well, the future will tell…


Friday, April 3rd 2009



1.Posted by Former Mio USA employee on 04/03/2009 6:21 PM
As one of several that were laid off from Mio USA recently, I can tell you that unless Mitac completely changes it's philosophy, Magellan is in for the same fate. Mitac simply has know clue how to run a marketing driven business. They only know manufacturing.

2.Posted by Gps usa on 04/03/2009 9:27 PM
the previous post sounds very familiar with other information I picked up from people dealing with the Mitac/Mio. Their marketing performance in the market has overall been poor, and so has been their ability to establish a brandnames with consumers. Not to mention some of their choice at product level! Of the 4 P's to manage, only 1 was managed properly, it being Price

3.Posted by get your facts right....it's a small industry on 04/04/2009 7:25 AM
According to NPD Mio came in at #3 in December (unit volume), ahead of Magellan, and had the same consistent market share for Dec 06, Dec 07 and Dec 08 (around 7.4%). The Mio market share did not "shrink severely" and the Mio NA team was not a "failure" as your article above states.

Such a declarative article should be better researched.

Additionally, if you researched this topic you would have found that the Mio North America team continued to persevere and maintain a #4 position for the 2008 year (per NPD), despite the multiple "sabotage" attempts from Mitac throughout the year.

4.Posted by Nick Adams on 04/05/2009 12:20 AM
The article was not well-researched. I was part of the Mio team for a year and a half, and have worked before with Mitac, starting in 1990. As mentioned, Mitac's strength from way back has been contract manufacturing. They have never shown an understanding of marketing. The Mio team put together some great programs but were constantly battling the parochial attitudes of a myopic "marketing" team in Taiwan. I, personally, am very proud to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented, competent and fun team.

5.Posted by GPS Gravy Train has Stalled on 04/06/2009 10:20 AM
Guys, sorry to hear about your problems here, however it should be no real surprise to anyone, although to be honest a real shame. Mio USA have survived in maintaining their 3/4 positions from doing huge "spot deals" based on price.... "a bridge to somewhere or nowhere ?" .....no where it seems as the market is saturated, The GPS "Wave" has pretty much crashed onto the beach and only the major Brands TT and Garmin who have invested in Brand, product and Long Term Strategy will survive. You only have to look at what Mio have done in Europe with their Navman Purchase to see that the writing is on the wall for Mio unless something is done very quickly. Yes.. great Mfr, yes, great supply chain.... Bad Marketing, Bad Strategy, Slow Decisions From Taiwan over too many management layers (all by commitee) and regardless of any advice by local BU managers that have the experience.
As HTC and Acer have proved it takes a lot more than just price for a Chinese or Taiwanese company to enter into the market and make a success. a Low price strategy is always a road to knowhere. Message to Mio, take the handcuffs of your Management teams, trust them, empower them, drive them by all means (they are great sales guys BTW) and give them the tools to do the job (Invest for the future), focus on your key strenghts and create demand for your products. Your Teams have the power to turn things around, let them.
Good luck to all you guys and good luck to Mio, as a customer I dont want to be limited to just TT and Garmin but you guys are leaving me almost no choice.


6.Posted by Former Mio USA employee on 04/07/2009 6:18 AM
Wow.... some very informed commentary.

Let me just say that the Mio USA management team, prior to it being replaced in July by two gentlemen that were lied to and really had no chance of success, was spot on. They took Mio from no where to #3. Yes, the spot deals certainly projected us forward, however the two guys who ran the show (not the idiot figurehead from Mitac) did a fantastic job. You would be hard pressed to find a better team. What was really sad is how often their brilliant plans were laid to waste because of Mitac either not responding in a timely fashion or simply dismissing ideas with no knowledge of the situation at all.

There are so many stories of ineptitude to tell regarding Mitac that I can't even keep track of them. They all run together into one big clusterf*ck of retardation.

The problem with Mitac is trust. They never trusted our team to do anything, they thought they knew the US market better than us. And that was their failure. I can't say that Mio USA would have ever supplanted Tom Tom as the #2, but if left alone I'm pretty confident we could have been the solid #3 choice month after month after month.

7.Posted by Andrew on 04/08/2009 10:03 AM
Who is your source... i think that GPS Business News are telling lies...
Look what MIO say:
(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –04/03/2009) – In response to the article published in GPS Business News entitled “Mio closing business in the US” on April 3, 2009, Mio announced that the company will continue the sales in the North American market. Mio will offer products in selected channels and launch new products in May. Mio emphasize that the company will also continue to deliver sleek, easy-to-use portable navigation devices to the market, and also accelerate the development of a variety of innovative GPS-based lifestyle products that extend the user experience well beyond traditional PNDs.

8.Posted by Ludovic Privat, Editor on 04/08/2009 10:20 AM
We have also received this statement from Mio (Taiwan), however we are still waiting for some confirmation from their side on several elements – we intend to publish a new article when everything is cleared. As far as we understand they do not deny to have fired about 90% of their staff, so even if MiTAC intends to continue doing business under the Mio brand in the United States we are not very optimistic about the outcome of these activities.

Ludovic Privat, Editor

9.Posted by Mike on 04/09/2009 7:43 AM
Well, considering that I was one of the folks that were laid off and have first hand knowledge that only 3 people remain, I don't know how they could possibly sell any product into retail without a full marketing and sales team. The folks left are quality people, but it would be a near impossible feat for them to have any success.

If a full team can't make a dent because of Mitac's ignorance and lack of knowledge, how the heck are 3 people going to make a difference?

Frankly I'm surprised they haven't shut the doors. Could be pride...

10.Posted by Joshua on 04/11/2009 5:48 AM
Our last hit of gold at MIO was with the Knight Rider GPS. After that Mitac finished off the company in red tape and delayed approvals that seemed to go nowhere in the end. Make no mistake, MiTACC destroyed our team, and they shall reap what they sow. I just hate that so many good folks got laid off because of MiTACC's incompetence. These people were true genuis through and through.

11.Posted by Baxter on 10/20/2009 7:39 PM
Looks like trouble.

http://www.iptrademarkattorney.com/2009/09/trademark-attorney-knight-rider-kitt-navigation-trademark-lawsuit-license.html

12.Posted by Lorentz M. Larsen on 04/22/2010 9:24 PM
As an owner of a MIO 500, where do I get support or updates. The web site is not working. Does anybody know where to go or do I throw it away and buy a Garmin?

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