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Navigon Confirms PND Exit

Chicago — Navigon confirmed it is exiting the U.S. portable GPS market due to an “unsustainable business climate,” said marketing VP Matt Mowat.

As reported Monday in GPS Business News, Navigon will retain a downsized staff in its Chicago office as the company will pursue the automotive and smartphone GPS markets, said Mowat, who retains his post as does Navigon president Michael Roach. The company would not divulge the number of layoffs as a result of the market departure.

Navigon’s German parent is the No. 3 leading personal navigation device (PND) maker in most of Europe and the No. 2 leader in Germany, Mowat said. The company also offers GPS smartphone software overseas and hopes to enter that market in the U.S. Navigon has also sold navigation platforms to U.S. automakers in the past and is the process of selling a new automotive platform, Mowat said.

Over the past few years, Navigon had achieved a market share ranking within the top-five suppliers at various points over the past 18 months, but as price competition intensified, and retailers tightened their assortments, the market became more cutthroat.

Navigon joins a long list of companies who have exited the U.S. consumer PND market during the past few years (although some, like Navigon, remain in the U.S. automotive, software or certain niche markets) including Amcor, Audiovox, Cobra, Dash Navigation, JVC, LG, Panasonic, Sony and Via Michelin.