Interview with Clint Steiner, Garmin’s senior OEM sales manager


Krystyna Grant: For the second year running, Garmin is the global leader in the PND market. What makes the Garmin PND so successful?

Clint Steiner: We continue to see success in the North American market in terms of products and features. In Europe, we continue to make inroads in multiple markets and we are expanding our OEM presence with BMW and VW. Our user interface and brand recognition are key parts of our success

KG: ABI Research predicted that global PND shipments would stagnate at 39 million units in 2009; what plans has Garmin put in place to expand the business in a difficult economy?

CS: We continue to develop and implement new features, products and services within our product lines. We are excited about the launch of our latest nüvi line beginning in May and the addition of pedestrian and public transit routing expanding the usability of our products.

We also have high hopes for our first truck PND that will open up a new market to Garmin in North America and Europe.

We are also active in new business areas, including the smartphone category, where we recently announced a second nüvifone M20.

We continue to invest in the automotive segment and have been fortunate to be invited to bid for contracts with many of the world's top automobile manufacturers.

KG: There have been suggestions that you may partner with Sprint to offer wireless Internet access on your PND's; do you have any plans to launch a 3G-enabled PND?

CS: At this time we are focused on delivering our nüvifone product lineup in the wireless market. There are currently no other plans that we can discuss.

KG: How do you see the navigation market developing over the next five years? Are in-car navigation solutions and PNDs facing the same fate as PDAs ten years ago?

CS: We are extremely excited about the potential of hybrid systems that deliver the best of onboard reliability complemented by connectivity that enables dynamic content and services.

KG: You recently announced the launch of the Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20; how has the product been received?

CS: The overall reception of the nüvifone product lines and the Garmin-Asus partnership has been outstanding. Both consumers and mobile operators have been enthusiastic about our nüvifones. The G60 won the best of show at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

KG: Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20 features the Ciao! Application; can you tell me more about this revolutionary LBA?

CS: Ciao! is a friend-finding application that will work with the leading social networking applications in the market. Through Ciao!, nüvifone users will see their friend's location on a map and then be able to navigate to that location with ease. Users can also choose to have the nüvifone automatically update their social network location information.

KG: Could you give our audience a brief overview of your session at the Telematics Detroit Conference? What will the attendees learn from your session?

CS: I am part of the Navigation & Location track topic "Navigation 3.0 – Benefit from the next wave of developments". This panel will look at navigation being a differentiator in other devices and how new navigation applications and services will add value into the future. Some of these features include pedestrian navigation, guided tours, economical driving, & geo coded photos and sharing. These services have already been introduced and we will continue to make them easier and more mainstream in the market.

Clint Steiner has been with Garmin since 2001, beginning in product support then moving into product training and then sales. Steiner's team launched numerous OEM automotive programs including BMW, Mercedes, Ford, Hyundai, Chrysler, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Polaris, Bombardier and Toyota.

Click here to view Clint Steiner's session at Telematics Update's flagship showTelematics Detroit 2009.

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