By Tarmo Virki
BERLIN, Aug 31 TomTom (TOM2.AS), the Dutch
navigation equipment and digital map-maker, expects to weather
economic challenges with new products to be unveiled for the
Christmas holiday season.
"I think we are able to have a proposition that is fun
enough to give us a good Christmas. We have everything lined
up," Corinne Vigreux, head of company's main Consumer unit, told
Reuters in an interview.
Vigreux said economic worries should have a somewhat smaller
impact on already weak sales of personal navigation devices than
on those of some other electronic devices.
"In the consumer electronics, everybody is having issues,
and there are not many categories that are doing well. Because
we are not a gadget, we should be a little bit more resilient,
people will buy us when they need," she said.
Last month TomTom posted a second-quarter net loss of 489
million euros after booking a big writedown on digital map maker
Tele Atlas, which it bought in 2008,to reflect the dismal market
outlook for its personal navigation devices.
"The PND market is going down, but it will not disappear,"
"We're not the company which is just going to wait and wait
until this thing dwindles to nothing. PND is here to stay. I
really believe that. It will stabilise at a certain level. I
don't know where."
In July TomTom forecast the decline in the global PND market
this year to be at the top end of its forecast range of 15-20
percent as economic worries hurt demand and consumers turn to
free or cheap navigation on cellphones.
To offset the slump in PND sales and reduce its reliance on
a single product, TomTom has increased its offerings to include
an Apple (AAPL.O) iPhone app. It has also expanded its content
and service offerings to include live traffic and mapping data,
and tried to expand fleet management services.
Vigreux said the company was also due to launch a version
for Google's (GOOG.O) Android platform.
TomTom competes in the PND market with Garmin Ltd (GRMN.O)
and in the digital map market with Google and Nokia Oyj
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and
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