Factory-Fits Threaten Mobile Market
A new study from global market intelligence firm ABI Research has identified a host of new threats that are chipping away at automakers' attempts to increase navigation hardware sales. Depending on the region, automakers have been facing stiffer competition not only from traditional aftermarket navigation vendors, but from PDA/accessory vendors, wireless carriers and other non-traditional automotive players.
Marking the beginning of a new trend, European aftermarket navigation hardware outsold factory-fitted systems for the first time last year, according to ABI's research. While gadflies have warned automakers about this trend for some time, there are still ways, says ABI, for factory-fitted systems to compete.
The new study, "In-Vehicle Navigation Markets," suggests that automakers concentrate efforts on bundling ancillary capabilities and features as part of their navigation systems. These include adding large hard drive storage for digital media, enhanced HMIs (including voice-recognition, larger displays, etc.), telematics services, such as E-Call/B-Call, and bundling the systems with more popular options packages, as opposed to the more costly ones.