TomTom is all about helping you beat the traffic. The company offers a variety of electronic navigation products that operate using Global Positioning System (GPS) data. Its lineup includes the GO series of portable and automotive navigation devices, some of which are designed with built-in wireless calling capability. TomTom's software enables navigation and travel information functions in PDAs, smartphones, and vehicle-based navigation systems. The company markets its products through retailers and distributors worldwide. TomTom makes 70% of its sales in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and holds the leading market share in Europe (nearly 50%).
TomTom competes with Garmin for the top spot among GPS device makers worldwide; TomTom leads in Europe, but trails Garmin in the US market (less than 30% share). The company moved decisively into China when it formed a joint venture with China-based digital map content and navigation software developer AutoNavi in 2010. TomTom holds a 49% stake in the venture, while AutoNavi controls it with 51%.
In 2011 TomTom made other moves to strengthen its presence in Asia/Pacific by buying out certain joint ventures. It acquired complete control of the Indian joint venture started between Kalyani Group and TomTom's Tele Atlas, renaming it TomTom India. It bought out PT Navindo for full ownership of the venture created with them, renaming that PT TomTom Indonesia. TomTom continues looking to be at the doorstep in emerging markets as they gradually open up. Regions such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia/Pacific are where it works to turn footholds into strongholds.
The Tele Atlas acquisition in 2008 was in large part fueled by consolidation in the digital map market. In 2007 Tele Atlas's primary rival, NAVTEQ, now used by Garmin, was acquired by mobile handset giant Nokia. Perhaps fueling TomTom's drive to win the bidding war over Tele Atlas was its fundamental strategy of controlling each component of the navigation experience, from software development, to content, to hardware.
TomTom delivers that experience to four basic market segments: consumer, automotive, enterprise, and licensing. Spanning those markets are ten product units: navigation, personal navigation device (PND), maps, traffic, fleet management services (FMS), fitness, mobile apps, places, speedcam intelligence, custom systems, and location-based services (LBS). The company partners with leaders in other industries, such as Expedia, TripAdvisor, Twitter, and NIKE, to augment existing consumer products or develop new ones.
In 2011 it renewed relationships in its automotive business. TomTom is the navigation provider for all of Renault's passenger and light commercial vehicles, and after two years in the partnership it reached a million units shipped to the French carmaker. TomTom is the supplier for a number of Fiat models including ones in its Alfa Romeo line, Lancia, the Fiat Panda and the US edition of the Fiat 500. It also directs drivers of the Mazda 3 sedan, Mazda 5 passenger van, and the CX-5 crossover utility vehicle. During the year it also created a semi-integrated product designed for its new partnership with Opel and Vauxhall.
Also part of its strategy is to win contracts and develop products with industry-leading customers. Among TomTom's other auto maker customers are BMW, Ford, GM, and Toyota, and it serves tech company clients such as HTC and MiTAC; other partnerships include car rental company Hertz.
While competitor Garmin turned around a two-year sales slump, TomTom added a fourth consecutive year of declining revenue, as its top line fell 16% in 2011. The primary culprit was weakened demand for its PNDs in Europe and North America. Turning in positive performances were in-dash automotive systems, content licensing, fleet management systems, LIVE services subscriptions, and mobile, but they weren't enough to save the company from losses of nearly €440 million (about $570 million).
In response, TomTom started restructuring to shift focus toward its more profitable areas, such as automotive and content and services, as it expects the PND market to continue shrinking in both North America and Europe. Part of the restructuring included a 10% reduction in personnel, half of which couldn't be achieved through attrition. Among the more than 250 layoffs, half came from the Netherlands. The company also shifted around its R&D structure to align with its ten product units. – less