Apparently Navigon is abruptly getting out of the hardware GPS game in North America, citing “the difficult economic environment” and “aggressive pricing” from competitors. Navigon CEO Egon Minar told GPS Business News, “We have decided to withdraw from the PND business in North America for the time being. We are however not closing down our Chicago office which will continue to serve our automotive and mobile phone businesses in North America.”
That “for the time being” part is pretty interesting. Either Navigon may re-enter the market at some point or Minar just said that to soften the blow, kind of like how you tell all the underclassmen that you’ll come back and visit them after you graduate. As for Navigon’s Chicago office, a “significant number of people” will be laid off, but some will be left behind to provide service and mapping updates to current owners of Navigon GPS units.
The company has apparently struck a deal with T-Mobile to provide software-based mapping and navigation services in Germany and will persue a similar arrangement in North America.