December 15, 2008

Mio's Parent Buys Magellan - The Magella-Mio-Man?

Mio's parent company is collecting brands like skipping trading cards, and added the Magellan brand of GPS receivers to its pack of brands today. They already have the Mio brand, and the Navman brand, both a bit tarnished in the US market, but firmly a top player globally. This adds yet another chapter to the Magellan brand that once stood at nearly half the US market, an innovator that lost its way somewhere. Owned by Thales, and sold to Shah Capital group in 2006 for $170Mil. They have fought hard to maintain their #3 spot in the US, after the onslaught of Mitac's own brand Mio a few years ago when Mio exploded onto the US market only to lose their way too.

Mitac bought Navman almost two years ago, where they subsequently brought over the user interface and for their newest generation of Moov units.

So, what's next? Magellan has a relatively well known brand name in the US, but their units have been wanting for high quality execution lately - great features, troubling implementation. If nothing else, Mitac just bought extra sales and extra cash flow, bringing the volume and profit margins onto one balance sheet. My sense is that they will need to update the interface, and build unique looking Magellan units built around a core platform across all brands. Also, with Mio's expertise in mobile handsets, expect some connected Magella-Mio connected unit out as soon as they can lock down an interface.

Read More in: Magellan GPS News | Mio GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at December 15, 2008 7:03 PM

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