Blaupunkt and Kenwood enter navigation partnership

By Matthew Henry

TOKYO: Blaupunkt and Kenwood today announced the formation of a partnership to develop portable navigation devices, entering the rapidly growing navigation market.

Blaupunkt, owned by the Bosch Group, and Kenwood Corporation of Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in developing navigation technology which will then be offered individually by each brand starting in 2008.

Blaupunkt and Kenwood are both leading manufacturers in the car audio and multimedia systems category, and will combine their expertise in these areas to develop well-featured and competitive products.

“By bundling these key competences, the two companies aim to supply navigation devices that are easy to operate and include innovative, attractive features for different regional markets,” said the two companies in a joint statement.

The portable navigation market was worth $349 million in the USA in 2005 and grew by around 254 per cent to an estimated $887 million last calendar year. The US market is predicted to grow again in 2007 to $1,177 million of sales made up by approximately 3,376,000 units.

Retailers including Bing Lee general manager, Phil Moujeas, highlighted GPS navigation as one of the best-performing categories over Christmas.

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