In-car navigation grows to 4% of all vehicles

By James Wells

SYDNEY: Navman Australia claims the in-car navigation market has convinced one in 25 car owners to install a unit with Global Positioning System (GPS) functionality.

In a statement released yesterday, Navman claims it has secured over 80 per cent market share in the category since launching in 2003 ahead of competitors including TomTom and RoadAngel who licenses the voice of Australian race car driving legend – Peter Brock.

To capitalise on its growth, Navman has apointed former Samsung senior AV marketing manager – Julian Tol as its director of sales and marketing in Australia and New Zealand.

Tol is the 73rd employee of the local subsidiary and will report to the vice president of sales and marketing at
Navman’s global operations based in the UK.

According to Tol, Navman’s consumer division believes that with prices of products now falling below $1000, further growth is assured.

“Navigation is on a development path towards a time where it’s embedded into almost everything we use and do; Beyond A to B driving directions, we’ll depend on it to find the cheapest petrol, announce bad weather ahead, route us around a jam, alert us to speed cameras and toll payments as well as an anti-theft device,” said Tol.

“On our way between a clever talking device and ubiquitous navigation we will give people a terrific range of products, with a range of products and applications at different price-points,” he said.

“Now, with serious competitors in the space offering a range of competitive products, it is necessary for Navman to underscore our continuing product superiority with equally good trade relations to retain majority market share. We’ll be investing heavily behind consumer education, pre- and after-sales support, brilliant in-store merchandising, and some great demand-generating marketing activities that haven’t been seen before in this market segment. We’re going to help our retail partners take this business to a whole new level between now and Christmas 2006".

Prior to joining Navman, Tol worked briefly for Samsung at the end of last year as senior marketing manager for the company’s AV division prior to the appointment of Kurt Jovais.

Tol started his career in advertising in Australia during the late 1980s and has spent over half his career in marketing and advertising in Europe. His clients included Philips consumer electronics and the TCC World Mapping System.

In the late 1990s, and Tol was appointed Managing Director of Publicis-subsidiary Mundocom International, where he led the agency group to a succession of new business wins, and was credited with leading the Mundocom Group back to profitability.

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