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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Navigon USA folds

Navigon-folds

Following several days of speculation in blogs and on message boards, Navigon CEO Egon Minar has confirmed that they will “withdraw from the PND business in North America.” Though they are saying this is “for the time being,” I seriously doubt that they will ever reverse this decision. Navigon is keeping their Chicago office open, but it is unclear what level (if any) of support services will remain, or if Navigon owners will be able to purchase new services.

Navigon has been a major force in the U.S. PND market for the past couple of years. They were the first manufacturer to introduce reality view, lifetime traffic and map update subscriptions. I am especially sad to see them go now, since they were on the verge of bringing MyRoutes technology to a new product line. Navigon also helped drive prices down, bringing these new feature sets to low and mid-range models.

Coming barely a month after Mio’s near desertion of the U.S. market, this leaves us with only a handful of major players, in various states of health:

  • Garmin – Clearly the market leader, they appear to be in good shape financially. Nevertheless, they have not exactly been a leader in innovation. Perhaps the ever-increasing cellular navigation market will force them to be more proactive in this regard though. We can only hope. 
  • TomTom – Still reeling financially from their purchase of Tele Atlas, they have been reported to have a weak commitment to the PND market.
  • Magellan – Recently purchased by MiTAC (Mio’s parent company), which has shown a great ability to drive brands into the ground and flounder without direction.
  • Nextar – This low-end manufacturer, fresh off a strong 2008 holiday season, may benefit more than others by Navigon’s departure from the U.S. market.

Regardless, this really isn’t surprising. Though the specific reasons may not have proven one hundred percent true, I predicted that Navigon would fold this year. The real losers in this are the consumers though, as we have fewer choices and have lost one of the key drivers of innovation in a market that has so much more that can be done.

Via GPS Business News

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. This really blows. I own one of these units and I prefer it hands down over the competition. I have owned both Garmin and TomTom units and the Navigon unit is more precise and more comfortable to use than the competition. Sorry to see these units go…

  2. It really would have been nice if the company had told their customers in the U.S. that they were folding. I just got my GPS back in December for the holidays and now it’s virtually useless. As long as the roads stay the same, I guess I’m fine. If they did put out a notice, they missed some people.

    • Rich Owings says:

      I think you’ll continue to have updated maps available (using their FreshMaps service). Not sure about firmware updates though.

  3. This is a major bummer. My wife and I love our Navigon. Both of our parents have Garmins and we prefer ours the Garmin’s any day. I really appreciated that the pushed the traffic service into mainstream. Its especially useful for us in the Chicago area.

  4. I was about to buy the Navigon 2100 max when I heard about this shocking news. Now I’m still holding on it and don’t know if I should buy some other brands. I’m worried if there won’t be any firmware update (I saw on some reviews that it is necessary) or map update available. Also will there be any customer service or warranty? Can anyone tell me? Thanks!

    • Rich Owings says:

      You should be able to get map updates, but firmware updates are more iffy.

      • Bill Commander says:

        I just bought a 7200T with outdated maps and CAN NOT get a map update -

        • After seeing what you guys said and read some more reviews on Amazon, I decided not to take the risk. I really like the 3D maps of Navigon. And I actually have a pocket size Fujitsu GPS with Navigon maps and I like it except for the tiny size. But it seems that I really should not buy another Navigon now. This is really bad news :(

        • Rich Owings says:

          Have you tried buying a FreshMaps subscription?

          • yeah i got a navigon2100,without the activation key.there customer service said i had to buy a new maps at $80.not worth it.does anyone know how i can get updates without having to pay for another fee.

  5. John Ryman says:

    This unit was good until I updated the software and now it doesn’ work. Try getting an anwer from Tech Support email wise is like pulling teeth from a chicken and no telephone numbers are available anymore…Just Great!!! Sorry I bought this unit now….

  6. Rich Owings says:

    You might try asking over at GpsPasSion. There are a lot of Navigon users there… http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=71

  7. I recently moved to South Carolina and travel to Georgia on a regular basis. Coming from Tx, this is going to be rather difficult with out my Navigon updates. I have used the Garmin (stupid) and the Tom-Tom (cute ads, not a real good product). I guess this means going back to key maps. Thanks for nothing, Navigon.

  8. Does anyone know how to escalate a problem past the unresponsive Navigon USA Customer Service?

    Got a 7200T last November. Have loved the unit, but am now having a couple of problems. Have used the Navigon Customer Service to contact them for help. No success.

    I got a response to my first quetion, but it had absolutely nothing to do with my problem. The last two queries, have gone unaswered, the last one is on a new problem (I solved the first by mounting the SD card and manipulating a file (scary, but did a backup before making the changes)).

    Does anyone know if I can report this to someone higher in Navigon (like Germany), or get it escalated through some consumer protection organization?

    Thanks

  9. Rich Owings says:

    “Community support” (how’s that for a euphemism?) might be your best bet. Here are a couple of good forums…
    http://forums.gpsreview.net/viewforum.php?f=38

    http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=71

  10. We own about 5 of the Navigons and I love it. Better then the others which are much more expensive. Hope they find a way back into the US market …

  11. I can’t use mine anymore I have forgotten how to start it. My phone calls found that there is no more phone support in the US. I wonder if we can call someone else in the world? Any one have an idea. It is a Pocket Look and it took me across country and back just fine. Now it is seemingly worthless. HELP!!!
    Jack

  12. Rich Owings says:

    There are some “Loox” threads and users at http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=71. Maybe they can help.

  13. This Navigon sucks! I purchased the product in March 2009 and it’s not working as of today this Novewmber 20th. I called Navigon and there are no human contacts to speak with. Sell me the crappy product then hide. You low down no good #$$%%#.

    • Wow. I have has mine for 2 years and use it regularly use. If the units battery completely discharges, you will need to let the unit charge for a period of time before restating it.

  14. Rich Owings says:

    How do you mean its not working? And which model do you have?

  15. I bought mine in May 2009, it is tempermental at times…. but it works. Recent we got our son a Garmin 1390T, it is too animated like a cartoon, it does not give you 1/2 the information/screen that the my 8200T does, an my “Junction View” as Garmin calls theirs is more responsive and displays more often than the Garmin….. If Navigon would give map support that would be atleast a start in providing customer support. Plus having a USA support would be even better. We can only hope and wish….

  16. We cracked the screen on our 2200T. Does anyone have any input in to how to go about getting it repaired?

  17. Rich Owings says:

    I think you may be out of luck. Even if you could get it repaired, the cost would probably exceed that of a comparable new unit.

  18. Re Navigon 7200T Anyone found out yet how to download updated maps for free ?

  19. I have downloaded the Navigon latest maps onto a 8 gig card and I’m getting an error message that there is not enough space to extract! can anyone help

  20. Rich Owings says:
  21. If the compan was folding and they knew that they were not going to provide support, then why did they allow stores to sell it to customers. Thar really sucks and is very bad business if you ask me. I bought one in July and now i does not work and it will not reset. I am questioning whether i should even buy a new GPS unit. I am gettinga response from them, they have asked that i return the unit if it is still under warranty, but they won’t give me an address, and there is not one abvailable on thier web site. If the company was no longe going to provide support to thier customers, they should have made a deal with an existing company to support customers. I think that would have gone over better with it’s consuers.

  22. I have a Navigon 7100 and it was great until it stopped working. The unit will not aquire a satilite. Anyone have a suggestion?

  23. I have a Navigon 2200T and recently a thief broke into my car and stole my car charger that comes with the integrated TMC antenna. At this point I can not use my GPS, I emailed Navigon about a month ago and have not received any response, I also looked at the website and they do have the charger available for 20 euros with an outrageous shipping charge of 65.00 euros. I do not like the fact that all the people that bought their products are stuck with no product support. Does anyone know where I can purchase the charger??

  24. eBay may be your best bet. You might also ask here… http://forums.gpsreview.net/viewforum.php?f=38

    or here…

    http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=71

  25. aefranklin says:

    I bought a Navigon in Germany last year and moved to the states recently. I went to put in the US SD card – it will not activate or recognize the card. I am thinking the card is a dud. I have looked everywhere to try and buy a US card. Does anyone have one they are willing to sell or know where I can purchase one? Thanks for your help. As many of you have experienced Navigon has been terrible and non-exsistent in their customer service with my difficulties.
    aefranklin

  26. aefranklin says:

    by the way I have a 7200 series. aefranklin

  27. This Sucks! Mine locked up and caint get help.

  28. I own the navigon 2090s, 2100 max which I accidently ruined. I love my navigon gps. I was quite upset, when I found out, they left the us market. I bought,a garmin 785t. Doesn’t even come close to navigon. The graphics suck! Too loud. Reality-view sucks. Bring back navigon, please!

  29. I have had my Navigon 2100T since 2008 and have loved it. Being that I drive back and forth from Virginia to Wisconsin. So far I have not updated the maps on it once and still runs like a champ. It sucks to see them go as I was getting ready to purchase another one but noticed that they have folded and the only thing close to getting another one is a download for your smart phone. Not sure if I even want to do that being that I have read a couple of bad reviews in regards to the application. I hope that they come back to the US as I have found their GPS to e three times better then all the others on the market!!! PLEASE COME BACK NAVIGON… :(

  30. Wow! sad to see them go, that sucks. I was loking to buy my dad one, I loved thier products, best graphics and overall functionality. Hope they return to US or at least keep the updates for a few more years. I have the 2100 since 2008 and the 7200t since last year and they work great. I bought a freshmaps card at Staples for $30, before I knew they folded, I got on to Navigon Fresh, and the software upgrade still works, new features and colors where installed and it appears the maps for 2010 Q3 where uploaded to my 7200t as the size of my backup increased. However, I was unable to confirm the map version as I can’t locate it on the device. Anyone know how? I will try updating the 2100 and write what happens. Even if updates are no longer available you can still use the system for many years to come, especially in the big cities where not much will change.

  31. I have Navigon map updates available for some units. maps are for the second quarter of 2010 (Q2 2010). Email me at zorbanyc@yahoo.com with your model number.

  32. Richard Marlatt says:

    I tried to update my unit two days ago and the support page came back with out of date unit and map. I purchased the unit in late 2008.

  33. Bob Henson says:

    Is anyone still following this Navigon posting ? If so, do you think we will get any more map updates after the 4th Qtr 2010?

  34. I need a power cord for the 2100. Generic ones wont work.

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