I must say, ladies and gents, the automotive GPS market is not looking really great. Garmin, undoubtedly the largest and most popular provider of GPS devices in general, posted their 2014 financial reports late last week, and the numbers showed an 11% decrease in automotive devices and an 8% drop in outdoor devices (which includes handhelds and sport devices). Fitness devices, on the other hand, saw a whopping 70% increase, while marine and aviation saw moderate increases as well.
Here’s what Cliff Pemble, president and CEO of Garmin Ltd. said in the release as far as the auto market goes:
“While the PND industry does continue to slow, we have noted global improvement in the trajectory throughout 2014 and are anticipating PND industry unit declines of 10-15% with stable pricing in 2015. The segment delivers solid profits; thus, we will continue to innovate with disciplined investment levels to grow market share and maintain profitability in the segment.”
He then went on to discuss the new partnerships with Honda and Mercedes and noted that the company is optimistic about the sector, despite losing sales for the second year in a row. I can’t say I’m super surprised to see sales decline yet again, but it’s nice to know that Garmin isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel yet. 11% drop is not a good sign, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker for a huge company like Garmin.
Anyway, I’m not much of an accountant, so I’m not going to spew all the numbers and such out at you. If you’re interested, you can take a look at the actual figures and the full report here. But, regardless, with these findings I think that we can pretty safely guess that Garmin is going to continue to follow the crowd by investing in fitness and wearables, which they spent a ton of money on this past year and saw record increases compared to last year. Here’s to hoping that they don’t completely neglect the auto market.