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Demand for higher quality navigation products: Survey

Bruchsal, Germany: At present, the most popular satellite navigation products are those that enable internet connection and display detailed graphics of streets, landscapes and places of interest, according to GfK Retail and Technology survey.

According to the survey, in the overall market for in-car multimedia, demand in the main category of portable satellite navigation devices fell by 10 percent at the start of 2011. It was significantly lower negative development than that recorded in the prior year (2010: -20 percent in comparison to 2009). Special double DIN navigation devices recorded growth of 4 percent, which was primarily attributable to products that can be easily integrated with the dashboard. One in three upgrade devices is now customised for specific makes of car. This new product category is experiencing a real boom at present, recording a sales increase of 58 percent. Consumers are willing to spend more on these high-end devices, with average expenditure of around EUR 1,060.

A comparable development emerged at the high-end of the portable navigation devices (PND) segment. An increase of 70 percent was recorded for devices that provide up-to-date information such as traffic, flight and weather reports on the move or that have a Google search function. The share of “connected PNDs” in overall portable navigation devices sales therefore increased from 5 percent to 10 percent. Rising popularity is also evident for computer graphics navigation support providing photographic images of motorway junctions, sights of interests, landscapes and cities. As a result, screens are increasing in size and growth is evident in the segment with 5 inch displays in particular. Navigation devices that recognise individual driving styles and take into account the latest information from other drivers when planning a route are also popular.

The survey concluded that at present, a few areas in the in-car electronics market are experiencing booming growth, but this is not strong enough to compensate for declines in the traditional product segments. A change in this trend is highly dependent on manufacturers and their technical innovations, above all in enabling in-car internet access, so as to attract new consumers and encourage drivers with older devices to upgrade to more modern products.  

Source: The FINANCIAL