US: In-dash navigation growing faster than PNDs

Aftermarket in-dash navigation is now growing faster than portable navigation, according to The NPD Group.

In-dash mobile navigation grew 26 percent in units in June 2009 compared with June 2008, while portable-navigation unit sales grew only 4 percent. In-dash navigation sales have been healthy all year, growing 36 percent from January to June, despite the availability of such lower-cost options as personal navigation devices (PNDs) and cellphones with GPS, said NPD.

Helping drive sales is a lower average selling price, which in June fell to $701 for in-dash navigation, down 26 percent from June last year.

Even though in-dash navigation devices are still much pricier than most PNDs, they are still a bargain compared to the price of a factory navigation system from a car maker, said NPD.

In June, 84 percent of all PND sales were below $200.  For in-dash navigation, the key price points were $600 to $699 with 40 percent of sales in that range in June, up from 15 percent last year, said NPD.

It should be noted that in-dash navigation is a much smaller market than PNDs.  About 17 million PNDs are expected to sell in North America in 2009, while NPD estimates only 77,000 aftermarket in-dash navigation units sold to consumers during the first half in the U.S.

Also, due to lower selling prices, in-dash navigation dollar volume for the first half was flat, with the first half of last year at about $53 million, said NPD.

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