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German car brands pay £1.9bn for HERE, which powers more than 80% of all in-car navigation systems

by John McIlroy
3 August 2015

German car manufacturers have joined forces to buy the division of Nokia that supplies data for the majority of in-car satellite navigation systems, it has been revealed today.

A consortium of BMW, Audi and Daimler is paying 2.8 billion euros (around £1.9bn) for HERE, which has a stand-alone app for smartphones but makes the majority of its revenue from providing up-to-date data that can drive manufacturers’ own systems. Nokia has previously claimed that around 80% of new-car infotainment systems feature HERE data in their navigation software. The firm has maps for almost 200 countries and live traffic information for 33 countries.

The move is a bold one from BMW, Daimler and Audi (the last of those brands means, in effect, that the VW Group as a whole is committed to the deal). It means that they remain committed to their own proprietary navigation systems, despite the increasing influence in this field of non-automative brands like Apple and Google.

Information on user behaviour is likely to have increasing value in years to come, and car manufacturers evidently see this as a potential way of earning more from their customers. The price is considerably less than Nokia paid for NAVTEQ before rebranding it as HERE in 2008, but the car manufacturers did have competition for the deal, including a rumoured approach from taxi firm Uber.
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