By Martin Vedris

HAMBURG: Following news this week that sat nav supplier Navigon was revising its business model in Australia, the company’s German head office told today that the Australian market is a high priority and it plans to grow its retail base here.

“We have started negotiations with additional partners and are applying some changes to the business model to better service the retail accounts,” Navigon head of corporate communication, Michael Hoffmann told Current today.

“We will also still continue to work with  Navigation Solutions on product testing, updates and several other aspects. We have been growing in Europe faster than the market while the market environment was not friendly at all. Navigon has a proven track record in providing customer value at a competitive price point and we will apply our experience in the Australian market in order to gain market share.”

Following the story on, the existing Australian distributor, Navigation Solutions, received enquiries from concerned retailers, but Hoffman wants to reassure Australian retailers that the company is here to stay. At this stage the company is still deciding whether to go direct and set up an Australian subsidiary or to continue to operate a distribution model.

“We are considering both options but have not made a final decision yet,” said Hoffman. “Very likely we are going to have a local distribution partner to support us with their logistical expertise.”

The immediate plans for Navigon are to focus on product support while finalising new models for the market.

“Business is going to continue trading as normal. Map updates and warranty will be provided for old as well as new products. However, we are going to prepare ourselves to increase our market share. We look forward to better address the needs of Australian car drivers.

“Navigon sat nav products are available at several retail outlets today and our goal is to extend the reach over the next few weeks to address a wider audience in the market. Australia is an interesting market for us and it perfectly fits in our company growth strategy. We are preparing the launch of our new models, which have just been announced at the CeBIT, and will inform the press and the consumers as soon as we are ready.”