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Google threat puts Garmin & TomTom on new routes

03/05/2019

Europe Technology Travel US

TomTom Garmin navigation systems

Satnav pioneers Garmin and TomTom have lost their comfortable stranglehold on the navigation market. But both firms are finding new opportunities. Find out which of the two companies seems to be better prepared for the challenges.


It wasn't so long ago that satnav makers Garmin (US: GRMN) and TomTom (NL: TOM2) enjoyed near-total domination of the in-car navigation market. Motorists bought the standalone devices they sold, while car manufacturers paid to have the same navigation systems installed in their car dashboards.

In either case, customers wanting annual updates and live traffic information were required to pay annual fees for the latest data. It was a cosy and profitable niche for the two dominant players. But a series of technical developments have threatened to derail this business model.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at how this business is changing, and ask whether either firm offers an opportunity for investors.

Tech advances keep coming

Most people now have smartphones with map apps. And many newer cars have built-in navigation systems. This suggests that only a minority of dedicated drivers in older vehicles are likely to want to buy standalone satnav units. Sales have duly fallen -- a trend confirmed…

Continue reading this article…

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