Germany’s Volkswagen, the second largest automaker in the world and the biggest in Europe, has selected original navigation equipment supplier TomTom to install mapping technology in the company’s passenger cars.
Following the Dutch equipment maker’s announcement, TomTom’s shares sharply rose, with the supplier adding that VW will introduce TomTom-equipped in-dashboard navigation systems with the company’s maps beginning with the launch of the new VW multimedia system in North America in the second quarter of the year. TomTom added that the new technology would span across numerous car lines, including the automaker’s two best-selling US nameplates, the Jetta and Passat. “It is a very important win in one of the most important car markets in the world,” said spokeswoman Bisera Grubesic. TomTom says this is the largest contract won following a 2012 deal with Peugeot and the company surpassed the previous provider (Nokia) to license its mapping solution to select Volkswagen brand cars in North America.
According to Rabobank, TomTom is on the right track when it comes to the technology surge in the auto industry, as the Dutch firm has secured recent partnerships with Volkswagen on driverless cars and Bosch on advanced driver assistance systems. Meanwhile Volkswagen is not so well in North America: US sales of the VW branded vehicles dropped 10% in 2014 to 367,000 from 408,000 in 2013.The automaker is now adding a new large-sized seven-seat crossover as it plans to win back customers and lift sales to 800,000 units by 2018.