Dealing with the threat from aftermarket navigation in China

Image courtesy: SBD.

The aftermarket embedded navigation industry emerged in China to supply look-alike navigation systems for a fraction of the price of OE systems.

This industry is evolving quickly as consumer demand for feature-rich in-car navigation and infotainment grows.

Aftermarket suppliers are in many ways now leading the innovation within the Chinese navigation market.

This innovation is not only focused towards hardware and software features (e.g. handwriting recognition for Chinese characters) but aftermarket suppliers are also taking the next step towards developing 3rd generation systems that offer advanced telematics services.

Over the last 12 months, aftermarket suppliers have started to create the necessary partnerships for telematics services, and in some instances have even developed telematics data centres and call centres in-house.

Aftermarket systems have often been dismissed as low-quality and low-cost systems. They continue to be low-cost, but are increasingly offering more advanced functionality than many OE navigation systems.

Furthermore, if aftermarket suppliers are able to successfully launch telematics services, it will eliminate one of the last remaining competitive advantages that vehicle manufacturers have held.

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