Sunday, March 18, 2012

TomTom cutting jobs; focus shifts to non-PND segments

TomTom-logo-x-smallTomTom announced their Q3 2011 financials today, showing growth in all segments except for personal navigation devices (PNDs), where they are forecasting a market contraction of 25 to 30% in North America and 10% in Europe this year.

They also announced a restructuring program, targeting 50 million Euros in cuts, including job reductions. The restructuring would focus on investing in growth segments and make them less dependent upon PNDs. On a positive note, the company indicated an increase in the take (renewal?) rate of their LIVE services, from 21% last year to 28% this year.

It’s a little hard to predict how the cuts will impact their PND offerings, since the growing automotive segment often directly utilizes PNDs. Perhaps we’ll see a reduction in the number of models offered. How do you think they’ll accomplish their goals?

Via Reuters

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. I am very disappointed in the PND industry. I drive a 45 foot motorcoach cross country for a living, and I am forced to use a device designed for use in other vehicle types. There are PND’s for golfers, RV’s, truckers, hikers, geocachers, motorcycles, etc, but an entire industry is being ignored! TomTom could be adding employee’s rather than laying off if they tapped into the charter bus/motorcoach drivers’ needs to do their job. I wrote to Rand McNally and asked them to build a unit specifically for buses and motorcoaches, and they recommended I use their TND or RVND. Both are good units, and I even suggested which features they could use from each unit to make one GREAT unit for motorcoaches. Unfortunately, they were not receptive to the idea of a “busdriver” telling them what tens of thousands of busdrivers needed in a PND. So, I guess I have to stick with my TomTom XXL 540M for now. WHY AREN’T THERE PND’s SPECIFICALLY FOR CHARTER BUSES AND MOTORCOACHES?!?!?

    • So I have some ideas, but how would you say that bus routing would differ from long haul trucks and RVs? Just curious. And I know we have some of the major manufacturers among our readers, so maybe it will give them some ideas if you’ll provide us with a bit more info!

  2. offthegrid says:

    One of the things they said they would be focusing on was their traffic services which need probe data so the connected units may get a boost while the loss leaders will get the boot.

    Probably some huge liquidation moves this winter.

  3. Rich,

    There are a few similarities when it comes to routing for RV’s and trucks, but then the differences are what would make a Motor Coach Navigation Device (MCND) invaluable. For example, trucks need truck stops. Charter buses and motorcoaches transport people, not haul freight so the buses need Travel Stops where people can use the restroom en masse, pick up snacks and souvenirs and fast food. Truck stops are designed for truckers selling products needed by truckers. For example, CB radios, Baby Moon hubcaps, etc. Travel Stops, like Love’s Travel Stops and Buc-ees are geared to the general public. The MCND would need this POI to focus on these types of facilities. Also, a MAJOR POI would need to be the Rest Areas on the Interstate Highways in each state. The Rand McNally RVND already has this feature. Also, the RVND prioritizes right turns and allows the user to select the length, height and weight of his vehicle. Again, this feature already exists on the RM RVND, build a MCND with that technology. Also, the RVND has additional screens which show altitude, time of travel, percentage of trip time, etc. The RM TND has a GREAT feature which keeps track of the number of miles traveled in each state. Since Charter buses must report fuel usage in each state, this feature is a MUST!, Also, showing the state boundaries is key. Other features needed on the MCND would be toilet dump location for the buses, both free and pay dumps, and the most important feature would be BUS PARKING!! Cracker Barrel has RV and Bus parking, and many many places in Branson, MO are famous for having bus parking at their venues because they know busloads of people means busloads of MONEY! Bus Friendly locations identified by the MCND would be very much appreciated. Another key feature would be a POI that foucuses on clusters of fast food restaurants where 1,2,3 or more buses could pull into a large lot, safely unload up to 60 people per bus, get them into several fast food joints that are all within walking distance of the bus, grab a bite to eat and get back on the bus within an hour. Overall, its very simple. Design a PND which caters to the transport of large masses of people: Where do all these people need/want to go, and what types of creature comfort places are along the way. What businesses can deliver goods and services to large groups of people and how can the busdriver safely get his group into and out of the these places without spending a lot of time. One last suggestion, a POI of motels that have sufficient bus parking would be a dream come true, no pun intended. Many motels say they have bus parking, then when a busdriver pulls a 45 foot Vanhool into the parking lot, the motel clerk tells them they do not have anywhere to park “such a big bus” even though they may have told the driver otherwise when he called to reserve a room. And, remember, the passenger door to the bus is ALWAYS on the right, (curb) side. and the turns need to prioritize the turns (like the RM RVND) so we can unload/load passengers upon arrival at our destinations! Thanks Rich!

    • Great info Kevin! Does the motor coach industry have an existing database that has this info, that a company like Garmin could license?

      • Not that I am aware of. Rand McNally already, in my opinion has the majority of the features I would like to have on a Motor Coach PND in their TND and the RVND. I have attempted to persuade them to utilize key features on both PNDs and make one for Motor Coach, Unfortunately, my suggestions were poo-pooed away by their customer service team who told me to buy either their Trucker Nav Device or the RVND. I’m just a customer, what do I know!!
        I do hope someday very soon a manufacturer will build a device that takes into account Charter buses and Motor Coaches pick up PEOPLE at front doors and drop them off at the front doors of the Willis Tower in Chicago, the White House in DC, the Empire State Building in NY, Cowboys Stadium in Arlington/Dallas, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and Dodger Stadium in LA. I don’t need a device that directs me to a dock at a warehouse to load strawberries at 3 am. I need one that makes the trip far more pleasant and enjoyable for people of all ages to ride across the country.

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