Back from the brink...
Contrary to reports last month from La Tribune, ViaMichelin has managed to hold onto its GPS business after finding a new partner.
Map maker Navigon has joined ViaMichelin and the two will release a new 'ViaMichelin-Navigon' range later in Q2. Specific hardware details were not available, but the duo did say but levering their resources it would enable enhanced features such as the ability to prepare a trip online then export it with a single click to the device.
"This agreement will provide economies of scale which are made necessary by heavy pressure on PND prices," said Alain Cuq, CEO of ViaMichelin. "By relying on Navigon for PNDs, and by developing more partnerships, ViaMichelin will bring its travel assistance services to more consumers every day, making use of all types of digital technologies."
"We are happy to accelerate our development in France taking into account the strength of ViaMichelin in this area," added Peter Scheufen, CEO of Navigon. "By joining our forces, French customers will benefit from the best products available on the market. "
As the latter quote reveals, despite their optimism, operations are being scaled back with sales only in their home country of France initially. So is this a phoenix from the ashes or just the delaying of an inevitable extinction? A lot with depend on those new products, but in technology once you're down it's pretty hard to recover. Just ask HD DVD...