Panasonic Unveils its First Branded Nav System for the U.S.
Panasonic has at last thrown its brand hat into the mobile navigation ring, coming out this month with a double-DIN 30GB hard-disk in-dash DVD/receiver system – its first navigation product ever in the American aftermarket.
“We asked ourselves, is it better to be the first to market or the best in show? The answer was simple: Best in show,” said Kazuteru (Chris) Tomachi, vice president of the company’s Mobile Electronics Group, in explaining the introduction’s having been made well after other major suppliers had staked their market claims. Panasonic is a veteran navigation system maker, having been in the Japanese market with both branded and OEM products since the early ’90s.
Tomachi further justified the debut’s timing, citing both CEA statistics that forecast double-digit growth in navigation system sales in North America over the next three years and an April CEA consumer survey showing that 86 percent of respondents were aware of GPS technology and 24 percent planned to purchase a device within the next 12 months.