January 14, 2009

Mitac and Magellan Brands to Co-Exist in US After Takeover

Mitac owns Magellan - it's official, and they have announced that they will keep the Magellan and Mio brands separate in the US market. Clearly with the announcement of the new Mio S platform, Mio isn't messing around with low end stuff only anymore. The statement out of the press release (below) is intriguing:

"Following MiTAC International Corporation's now-final purchase of Magellan Navigation's Consumer Products Division, Mio Technology has announced a shift in strategy. The company will continue to deliver sleek, easy-to-use portable navigation devices, but also accelerate development of a variety of innovative GPS-based lifestyle products that extend the user experience well beyond traditional PNDs."

So, will both brands concentrate on similar automotive GPS units with distinct feature sets? Or will one brand be set-up as the automotive brand while the other will take on this GPS-based lifestyle product owner? It will be hard to offer the same hardware base with the same features and software under two brands - retailers don't want it and consumers will see through it.

Many of these acquisitions set the company up to have one brand a higher tier and one a lower tier. The one segmentation that I could see making sense is to start with a style based segmentation - Magellan - Bold, blocky and rugged, with traditional features, while the Mio is a sleek stylish and slightly upscale model with refined features. We'll see.

Press Releases Follow.....

MiTAC International Corporation today announced the completion of its purchase the assets of the Consumer Product Division of Magellan Navigation. This is a direct purchase of the assets of Magellan's consumer product business, which includes the Magellan brand name, navigation software, patents, trademarks, intellectual properties, and channels of distribution. MiTAC Digital Corporation will be led by recently appointed President, Kevin Chuang.

"I am very pleased to be part of the new MiTAC Digital Corporation. The ability to leverage MiTAC International Corporation strength in engineering and manufacturing and the Magellan brand and channels of distribution puts MiTAC Digital Corporation in an excellent position to strengthen and grow the business in North America," said Kevin Chuang, President of MiTAC Digital Corporation.

Magellan brand strength centers on its consumer brand preference, channels of distribution in the portable outdoor and car navigation markets in North America. Its award-winning product lines include the RoadMate® and Maestro™ series of portable car navigation systems and the Triton® outdoor handheld navigation devices.

"With this purchase, MiTAC International enhances its mobile navigation business and positions our company for growth in North America," said Billy Ho, President of MiTAC International Corporation.

MiTAC International, a leading worldwide maker of wireless communications products including portable GPS navigation devices, will operate both the Mio and Magellan brands independently in North America, but the brands will share technological expertise.

MiTAC Digital Corporation headquarters will be located in Santa Clara, California.


Following MiTAC International Corporation's now-final purchase of Magellan Navigation's Consumer Products Division, Mio Technology has announced a shift in strategy. The company will continue to deliver sleek, easy-to-use portable navigation devices, but also accelerate development of a variety of innovative GPS-based lifestyle products that extend the user experience well beyond traditional PNDs.

"We are energized for 2009 and focused not only on the roll-out of Mio's new products announced at CES, but on the unique hardware platforms we are quickly moving through our development pipeline," said Jerry Barbera, vice president of sales and marketing, Mio Technology USA. "Design and technological innovation are the foundation of what we do, and we are excited that the Mio brand can now place additional emphasis on bringing cutting-edge and creative navigation and convergence products to market in the U.S."

MiTAC International, a leading worldwide maker of wireless communications products including portable GPS navigation devices, will operate both the Mio and Magellan brands independently in the U.S., but the brands will share technological expertise. MiTAC announced the purchase on Dec. 15, 2008. Mio Technology is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MiTAC.

"The portable navigation device market is an exciting and ever-changing space; MiTAC is always looking for opportunities to expand the navigation experience for our customers and elevate our global brand awareness," said Billy Ho, president, MiTAC International Corp. "This gives us the opportunity to offer Mio's innovative GPS-based products while leveraging Magellan's heritage in the market and its partner relationships."

At CES 2009, Mio Technology unveiled several new PNDs that will hit the market in the first half of this year. The stylish devices span the full range from entry-level to premium and are packed with easy-to-use features that enhance a user's experience. Each comes preloaded with Mio "Spirit" navigation software, which offers fast search and navigation. The company also displayed its first concept Mobile Internet Device, which demonstrates Mio's progression toward unique lifestyle products.

The purchase of the Magellan Navigation Consumer Products Division by MiTAC is effective immediately. MiTAC is currently overseeing the integration of Magellan into the company's global operations.

Read More in: Magellan GPS News | Mio GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at January 14, 2009 9:33 AM

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