I can still remember my first GPS unit – it was a NavMan, in fact I still have it at home, in a shelf, the plastic is old and sticky now, but boy was it amazing to see the roads marked out in front of us and be guided to a destination with this little gadget.
Well, after more than 20 years in the personal navigation game – Navman is out. Leaving the sat-nav market in Australia to focus on it’s growing range of dashcams among other products.
And let’s be clear, the writing was on the wall here as the oldest of cars where navigation isn’t even close to built in become less prevalent, it’s hard to justify.
Then add in a simple phone mount and all the world of maps on our phones, honestly, I can’t imagine using anything other than Waze in my life.
But Navman is quick to be clear, they will not leave customers stranded.
The current range of Sat Nav units in stores and recently sold will get continued map updates, service and support through to 2026, which Navman say is well beyond the two year warranty period.
Understanding this is a big move for Navman they’ve made available a full FAQ for customers and we’ve published that below.
- Is this the end of the sat-nav for Australia and NZ?
2023 is not the end for Navman and sat-navs in this part of the world; our sales, support and service efforts will not end for another three years. Will people continue to use their devices beyond this date? Probably. We’ve seen some consumers using the same model for more than 10 years, even without map updates. So, who knows.
- How many Navman sat-navs have been sold over this time? What was the peak of the market for Navman? What are you now selling?
We’ve sold around three million sat-navs across Australia and NZ. Last year sales were a little over 30,000.
- You have a loyal group of Navman sat nav users in Australia and NZ, surely they will feel you are letting them down with this decision?
We are sad about the decision and for the impact this will have on loyal Navman sat-nav users beyond 2026 but recognise that the numbers simply do not stack up to make a sound business case for us.
- Will there be job losses within Australia?
We’re a fairly small and nimble team of product managers, sales, admin, service and support in Australia and right now we do not envisage any job losses in relation to this decision, as all efforts are on expanding our dash cam and B2B business.
- What happens to customers with older models – will their maps continue to be supported with updates through to the end of 2026
We will support products that have been manufactured since 2020 with maps until 2026, which we believe is going beyond our warranty requirements. Please check our website to see if your model will be supported beyond its warranty.
- What has been the response of retailers who are currently carrying Navman stock?
We have excellent longstanding relationships with the major retailers, who understand the rationale for this decision and understand they can continue to sell current models safe in the knowledge that maps, service and support will continue for three years, or until the end of 2026. We see this as doing the right thing for everyone.
It is also not the end of our relationships with the trade, as we continue to develop new Mivue™ dash cam products and other automotive technology.
- With the advent of Google maps and Apple Carplay and so on, sat-nav sales have been declining for some years now, why did it take you so long to come to this decision?
It is true sat-nav sales have been declining over time, and we have defended against the advent of navigation on phones, and in new cars for the past 10 years or more. We were able to do this essentially because both Australia and New Zealand are strong driving nations and they continued to be demand for quality navigation devices that work regardless of mobile coverage, provide superior guidance and popular safety features like speed and safety camera alerts (which we now incorporate into our dash cams).
Despite the advent of these navigation products like Apple Carplay and Android Auto and so on, until recently, the business case stacked up but lower demand along with the soaring cost of components and difficulties in sourcing screens and chips, along with other expenses like freight, made things no longer viable.