Annual revenues from telematics equipment sales in Europe will be over $2.5 billion by 2006, according to a new study from the consultants, The Strategis Group. The overall number of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and after-market devices sold each year is expected to rise from a total of 770,000 units in 2001 to 8.7 million units by 2006 according to the research. Europe's five largest automotive markets (Germany, Italy, France, UK and Spain) are expected to account for 84% of these sales by 2006.

"The increasing use of standardized technology and protocols is helping to reduce the cost of developing telematics systems, as well as promote device and service interoperability,'' says Jamie Moss, analyst with The Strategis Group. "As a consequence, future generations of telematics devices will be able to be easily updated to offer an increasing variety of services.''

OEM and Aftermarket Telematics Device Sales (millions), Top 14 European Markets, 2001-2006

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
OEM .46 1.03 1.88 3.02 4.63 6.66
Aftermarket .31 .52 .78 1.12 1.54 2.04
Total .77 1.55 2.67 4.14 6.18 8.70
Source: The Strategis Group, Inc.

"The vehicle buying public simply did not perceive the devices as offering adequate value for money and as a result, telematics devices have languished in the luxury vehicle market,'' Moss adds. "However, proposed new features and competitive pricing are set to change all that.''

The in-vehicle environment, which features LCD/TFT screens rather than a WAP browser, can offer an improved environment for content-rich multimedia services. Karl Emanuelsson, analyst with The Strategis Group said: "We will soon see a blurring of the divisions between the various mobile information devices available to drivers -- telematics systems, navigation systems and mobile communications devices will become increasingly intertwined to provide the consumer with a unified communications and information solution.''


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