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Automotive slowdown drags navigation market

Posted: 31 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:navigation? automotive? in-car electronics?

It has been a challenging time for the global automotive market with the lean sales extending to such related systems as OEM automotive navigation devices. Yet things should be picking up as the relentless advance of in-car electronics continues to push consumer expectations for car navigation.

"There has been no escaping the impact of the global automotive meltdown, not even for a relatively new consumer product that is still very much in the proliferation phase, such as the in-car navigation system," says Kevin Furr, senior analyst at IMS Research. He noted that worldwide sales of display-based OEM navigation systems are forecast to fall 5 percent, to some 8 million units, for the year 2009.

Yet it could be worsethe predicted global decline in light vehicle sales is some 17 percent for 2009, according to Furr. "The glass half-full scenario here is that although vehicle sales have been in decline, the fitment rate among those vehicles of OEM navigation systems has continued to increase, along with the number of vehicle models and global regions in which navigation is offered. That bodes well for navigation suppliers as vehicle sales bottom out."

Furr cited these trends in a newly released study on the global market for automotive navigation systems. A related emerging trend is the increased implementation of connectivity. "While the in-car PC concept that was once a topic of speculation has never gained much traction, bits and pieces of connectivity continue to make their way into the car to provide traffic feedback, map updates and portal services," he added.

This may prove a key area of growth; Furr said that global sales of such OEM connected navigation systems will double by 2012.

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