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Panasonic steers out of satnav street

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Panasonic is pulling out of the satnav business in Europe on the back of tumbling prices.

With High Street auto-accessory chain Halfords knocking 50 per cent off the price of all the satnavs it stocks, we're not at all surprised.

Indeed, as one industry source dejectedly put it: "The UK satnav market's in the crapper."

That may be a little exaggerated, but times are certainly tough for satnav suppliers.

Prices on these now commodity items were already heading rapidly south of the border, and with the inevitable recession-induced consumer belt-tightening that's going on, that trend will only accelerate.

The fact it's a very crowded market, and with little to differentiate one manufactuer's satnav from another's, it's no surprise punters are buying largely on price.

And that's before you take into account all the phones and other gadgets that now have GPS on board.

For its part, Panasonic will now focus its resources on in-car entertainment equipment that can be sold not to consumers but to car manufacturers.

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