Pioneer expects navigation category to double in two years

By James Wells

SYDNEY: After introducing navigation to the world 17 years ago in Japan, Pioneer Electronics has now forecast the category to double in Australia to 1.2 million units by 2009, but this will still create a penetration rate of less than a third of consumers.

According to Pioneer general manager – mobile electronics group, Peter Hutchinson, the Pioneer brand currently holds market leadership in the local mobile entertainment market with 34 per cent share, not including car navigation products, with nine other brands representing the remaining 66 per cent of the market according to Informark data.

Hutchinson estimated the market will grow from 600,000 units in 2007 with 11.3 per cent penetration to 1.2 million units by 2009 with 29 per cent penetration.

Over this period the proportion of portable products is expected to fall from 98.2 per cent to 91.4 per cent as the integrated category grows from 1.8 per cent to 8.6 per cent.

Pioneer’s mobile electronics business is expected to change dramatically over this period as its visual, audio and navigation category grows from representing 13 per cent this year of its business to 55 per cent of its business in 2009. Over the same period CD tuners are expected to fall as a proportion of Pioneer’s business in the category from 55 per cent to 23 per cent.

Pioneer Electronics Australia managing director, Yasuo Sakuma, said today he estimates the global navigation category to grow from 16.7 million units in 2007 to 35.5 million units in 2010.

Globally, the portable navigation category will contribute substantially to this market with sales expected to grow from 5.25 million units in 2006 to 10.6 million units in 2007 with sales of portable navigation expected to grow to 27.25 million by 2010 or over three quarters of the overall market.

Pioneer navigation represents $A1.2 billion or one-third of Pioneer’s mobile entertainment group which is approximately 45 per cent of its entire $A8 billion business.

Pioneer launched the world’s first CD-based car navigation products in Japan in 1990 into a market that is 20 times smaller than Australia and six times larger in population.

In 1998, Pioneer launched the world’ first DVD-based GPS automotive navigation system and in 2001 launched its hard disc based system. Last year, Pioneer introduced its first portable navigation system.

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