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ViaMichelin Enters GPS

New York – ViaMichelin, a subsidiary of the tire company Michelin Group, has followed through on its late-summer promise to enter the U.S. GPS market by shipping a the X-930.

The X-930, $299 suggested retail price, has a 3.5-inch touch screen and is the lightest weight product in its class, according to ViaMichelin. It has an SD card slot, lithium-polymer battery with a three-to four hour charge and includes preloaded maps of the US and Canada. It also has a pedestrian mode which disregards one way streets. It uses a SiRFstarIII GPS receiver and runs on a 312MHz processor.

ViaMichelin has been selling portable GPS in Europe for the past year and claims to have won a top five slot in that market.

ViaMichelin said the unit, which is shipping now, is the first of a family of ViaMichelin portable GPS products slated for the U.S. The company is currently in the process of signing up retailers.

ViaMichelin calls itself the “Mapquest of Europe.” It was founded in 2000 to design, develop and market navigation. It launched a navigation website and then moved into PDA navigation products and finally to portable GPS.