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Mio Cuts Its Workforce By 60%

GPS maker Mio acknowledged it recently laid off 60 percent of its workforce after its parent, MiTAC, purchased GPS maker Magellan.

“We’ve gone through some changes and strategy changes with the acquisition of Magellan, and the economic situation has forced us to re-evaluate our situation,” said Mio sales and marketing VP Jerry Barbera.

MiTAC, based in Taiwan, purchased Magellan in December.

Barbera said Mio hopes to retain its No. 4 or 5 spot in the U.S. personal navigation device (PND) market but didn’t deny that Magellan might be the dominant brand in PNDs for MiTAC. He noted, “Because of their broad distribution, Magellan has the strength of the Magellan name. They are going to drive the business for MiTAC.”

The company would not disclose its current number of employees in the U.S. but said “all departments are staffed.”

Mio affirmed it is looking at offering other GPS-centric products such as netbooks, and the company did not rule out offering a GPS smartphone in the U.S.

“It’s too early to discuss anything but there are a variety of products that incorporate GPS as part of the platform and MiTAC has a lot of strength in manufacturing … we’re looking at anything GPS related,” Barbera said.

Kiyoshi Hamai, Mio sales and marketing director, recently left the company to become sales director at Rand McNally. Also Rich Black, marketing senior director at Mio for the past seven months, left the company and launched a marketing firm called M20 Marketing.