Garmin

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Garmin Ltd.
Type Public
Traded as NASDAQGRMN
S&P 500 Component
Industry Technology
Founded Lenexa, Kansas, United States (1989)
Founders Gary Burrell
Min Kao
Headquarters Schaffhausen Switzerland (Incorporated) (since 2010)
Olathe, Kansas (Corporate and Operational Headquarters)
Key people Cliff Pemble (CEO), Min Kao, Gary Burrell
Products GPS receivers, Avionics
Revenue Increase US$2.76 Billion (FY 2011)[1]
Operating income Increase US$898 Million (FY 2008)[1]
Net income Increase US$733 Million (FY 2008)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$2.92 Billion (FY 2008)[2]
Total equity Decrease US$2.23 Billion (FY 2008)[2]
Subsidiaries Garmin International Inc., Garmin (Asia) Corporation
Website www.garmin.com

Garmin is a multinational corporation and producer of navigation equipment. It most well-known as a producer of consumer and professional-grade Global Positioning System receivers. It was founded in 1983 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao in Lenexa, Kansas.

As of May 2014, Garmin has sold over 126 million GPS devices.[3]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

In 1983, Gary Burrell recruited Min H. Kao from a defense contractor Magnavox while working for the former King Radio.[4] The pair founded Garmin in 1989 in Lenexa, Kansas,[citation needed] as ProNav. ProNav's first product was a GPS unit which sold for $2,500 USD. The company later received its name Garmin, composed of the first names of its two founders.[5] In 1991, it got the U.S. Army as the first customer.[6]

Company growth[edit]

The world's only Garmin retail location is located on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois.

By 1995 Garmin’s sales had reached $105 million, and had achieved a profit of $23 million. By 1999 sales had reached $233 million and profit of $64 million. Garmin reported a 2006 total revenue of $1.77 billion, up 73 percent from $1.03 billion in 2005.[7][8]

On May 13, 1999, AirCell and Garmin International announced an alliance to develop new products that use AirCell's unique cellular air-ground link to bring affordable flight communications, navigation and safety to general aviation aircraft.[9]

Burrell retired in 2003 as Garmin’s chief executive officer and in 2004 retired as chairman of its board of directors. He is now chairman emeritus. Kao became CEO in 2003, and chairman in 2004.[10]

In 2005, Forbes estimated Kao’s net worth at $1.5 billion. He has donated $17.5 million to the University of Tennessee. The same year Forbes estimated Burrell’s net worth as $940 million.[11]

Public offering[edit]

By 2000 Garmin had sold three million GPS devices, and was producing 50 different models. Its products were sold in 100 countries and carried by 2,500 independent distributors. As of 22 August 2000, the company held 35 patents on GPS technology. By the end of June 2000, the company employed 1,205 people: 541 in the United States, 635 in Taiwan, and 29 in the United Kingdom.[12]

The company began public trading on NASDAQ on 8 December 2000. At that time Burrell owned 19,911,155 shares. Kao owned 20,352,803 shares. Together their holdings accounted for 45 percent of the stock in Garmin. Kao’s brother, Ruey-Jeng Kao, an attorney in Taipei, owned another 7,984,109 shares, which when combined with Burrell’s and Kao’s shares constituted 54.22 percent of the shares outstanding.[13]

Worldwide companies[edit]

Garmin Tech Center (台灣國際航電科技大樓) is the head office of Garmin (Asia) Corporation and located in the Xizhi District of New Taipei City, Taiwan

Garmin operates in several other countries besides the UK, USA, and Taiwan. It operates as Formar (Belgium), Garmin AMB (Canada), Belanor (Norway), and Trepat (Spain), Garmin-Cluj (Romania).

Acquisitions[edit]

In August 2003 Garmin completed acquisition of UPS Aviation Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of United Parcel Service, Inc., expanding its product line of panel-mounted GPS/NAV/COMM units and integrated cockpit systems for private and commercial aircraft. The acquired company changed its name to Garmin AT, Inc. and continued operations as a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin International, Inc.[14]

Garmin has acquired Dynastream Innovations,[15] EME Tec Sat SAS (EME),[16] and Digital Cyclone.[17] Dynastream, located in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, is a leader in the field of personal monitoring technology (ANT+) — such as foot pods and heart rate monitors for sports and fitness products — and is also a leading provider of ultra-low-power and low-cost wireless connectivity solutions for a wide range of applications (ANT). EME Tec Sat SAS (EME) is the distributor of Garmin's consumer products in France; following the acquisition, EME will change its name to Garmin France SAS. Digital Cyclone Inc (DCI), located in Chanhassen, Minnesota, provides mobile weather solutions for consumers, pilots, and outdoor enthusiasts. Garmin also bought Nautamatic Marine Systems,[18] an Oregon-based company that makes autopilot systems for boats. In July 2011, Garmin finished its acquisition of the German satellite navigation company Navigon. [19]

Recent corporate activity[edit]

In 2006, Garmin released all of its software for Mac OS X.[20] Also in 2006, Garmin introduced a new corporate logo,[21] and the opening of its first retail store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.[22]

Products and brands[edit]

Marine GPS[edit]

The company’s first product was the GPS 100, a panel-mounted GPS receiver aimed at the marine market, priced at $2,500. It debuted at the 1990 International Marine Technology Exposition in Chicago. The product was an instant hit and generated a backlog of orders for 5,000 units. In response to the demand thus created, Kao traveled (January 1991) to Taipei to set up manufacturing facilities.

Handheld GPS[edit]

Another early product, a handheld GPS receiver, proved popular with military personnel serving in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Gulf War. In the early 2000s (decade), Garmin launched a series of personal GPS devices aimed at recreational runners called the Forerunner. A similar wrist-worn GPS device with two dimensional GPS tracking and waypoint projection called the Garmin Foretrex is popular among day hikers, off-road mountain bikers, and sailboat racers.

A Garmin eTrex 30 simultaneously connects to both GPS and GLONASS satellites.

One of the most popular of the Garmin handheld GPS receivers, the compact eTrex series, was introduced in 2000. Within the eTrex line are several models packaging several different features and options. The original eTrex, commonly nicknamed "eTrex Yellow", was a sensation when it first appeared, as it offered a lightweight (5.3 oz/150 g), waterproof, palm-sized 12-channel GPS receiver to backpackers, hikers, and others afoot in remote areas, along with a battery life of up to 22 hours on just two AA-size batteries.[23] The eTrex "Yellow" was replaced in 2007 by the eTrex H, which added a high-sensitivity receiver.[24] Other more advanced eTrex models include the Summit, Venture, Legend, and Vista, each with various additional features such as WAAS, altimeter, digital compass, city database, and highway maps. Many of these models come in color and expandable-memory versions.[25] In 2011, Garmin "refreshed" the eTrex product lineup with improved mechanical design and support for the latest advances in cartography and hardware technology. With its release of the eTrex 10/20/30, Garmin became the first company to manufacturer and distribute a worldwide consumer navigation product supporting both GPS and GLONASS satellite constellations.[26]

The Geko series was a compact line of handheld GPS receivers aimed at the budget or lightweight hiking market.

In 2004 Garmin introduced its 60C line of handheld GPS mapping receivers, featuring increased sensitivity and storage capacity along with a battery life of up to 30 hours in battery-save mode. This was followed by the 60Cx and 60CSx with improved color map displays.

With the GTM-11, GTM 20 and GTM 25, a Garmin GPS device receives and uses traffic message channel (TMC) information.[27] Also, some Garmin nüvi (1690, 1490T, 1450T, 1390T, 1390, 1350, 1260, 1250 and 265WT, 265T, 265W, 265, 255w and 255) comes with an integrated TMC receiver.

iQue PDA receivers[edit]

Main article: Garmin iQue

In 2003 Garmin launched the iQue line of integrated PDA-GPS receivers. On 31 October 2005 the iQue M4 became the first PDA that did not require a PC to preload the maps. The American version came with built-in maps of North America, while the UK version was supplied pre-loaded with maps of Western Europe.

Automotive GPS[edit]

Garmin nüvi 255W, with a 4.3 inch diagonal display

In 1998, the first Garmin StreetPilot was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show. It had a black and white screen and no voice. In 2002, the StreetPilot III added a color display and voice navigation.

In October 2005, Garmin released the StreetPilot i-Series, compact GPS navigators which come in three models, i2, i3, i5. The i2 has a monochrome display, and maps need to be loaded on a Transflash card. The i3 is similar to the i2, except it has a color screen. The i5 has a color screen and the maps come preprogrammed into the device. More advanced versions of the StreetPilot include the c-Series, some of which sport large colour touchscreens, FM traffic notifications, support for weather and information updates from MSN Direct, and Bluetooth support.

In 2005, the nüvi 300 series was released. It was the first modern-shaped automotive GPS. The slim rectangular shape meant that the device could fit in a pocket.

In October 2006, Garmin began shipping the nüvi 660, a pocketsize widescreen successor to their nüvi 300 series. The 660 added bluetooth, FM transmitter, enhanced screen brightness and screen size, all in a small "flat" size.

Garmin's Zumo line is designed specifically for motorcycles.

Garmin released 2000's series in 2010, which includes 2200 (3.5 inch display), and 2300 (4.3 inch display).

Garmin's 2012 nüvi lineup includes "essential" models (nuvi 30/40/50 series); "advanced" models (nuvi 2405/2505 series); and "prestige" (nuvi 3400/3500 series). Advanced and prestige models carry additional features on top of the basic functions of the essential models. Models that carry an "LM" designation include free lifetime updating of the installed maps.

Fishfinders[edit]

Garmin also manufactures a line of sonar fishfinders, including some units that also have GPS capability.

Laptop GPS and Mobile Apps[edit]

In April 2008 Garmin launched Garmin Mobile PC, a GPS navigation software program for laptop PCs and other computers, based on the Microsoft Windows operating system, now discontinued.[28]

Garmin offers mobile apps for Android, Windows Phone, and for iPhone. On July 25, 2011, Garmin International, Inc. released Garmin StreetPilot Onboard N. America Version 1.0 for the iOS operating system 4.0 or later. It is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation) and GPS-enabled iPads. The iPhone app is 1.61 GB and has In App Purchases available including Traffic, and Fuel Prices. Map coverage includes North America (United States, Canada, Mexico, plus Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, and Jamaica).

Nüvifone[edit]

Main article: Garmin Nüvifone

In early 2009 Garmin announced it would be manufacturing a location-specific cellular telephone in cooperation with Asus.[29] Called the Garmin-Asus nüvifone G60, the United States release on AT&T was scheduled for 4 October 2009.[30] Four other models in this line have since been released—two Windows Mobile-powered models for the European and Asian market, and two Android models, one for the Europe/Asia market and another for T-Mobile USA.

Personal trainers[edit]

Main article: Garmin Forerunner

The Garmin Edge and certain models of Garmin Forerunner is a suite of GPS-enabled devices for use while running or cycling.

Avionics[edit]

Main articles: Garmin G1000 and Garmin G3000
Garmin avionics

Garmin has a dedicated division for aviation products, such as integrated cockpits, panel mount displays, multi-function displays (MFD), transponders, radar and other related avionics. For example, the G1000 is an all-glass avionics suite for OEM aircraft.[31] The G900X is similar to the G1000 but designed for use in experimental aircraft,[32] and the G600 is a retrofit solution for several certificated aircraft.[33]

Garmin entered the aviation market in 1991 with the GPS-100AVD panel-mounted receiver. Their first portable unit, the GPS-95, was introduced in 1993. In 1994, the GPS-155 panel-mounted unit was the first GPS receiver on the market to receive full FAA certification for instrument approaches.[34][35]

In 1998 Garmin introduced the GNS-430, an integrated GPS navigation receiver/communications transceiver.[34]

In April 2007 the Oregon-based aircraft company Epic AIR (subsidiary of Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) LLC — United States) announced that it would use Garmin glass panel cockpits and related avionics in all of its certified and experimental very light jets and turboprop aircraft. The Garmin G900X will be used in the company's owner-built airplanes, while the Garmin G1000 will be used in certified Epic aircraft.[36]

Garmin-AT subsidiary[edit]

Garmin expanded its presence in the aviation market in 2003 through acquisition of UPS Aviation Technologies which included acquiring the latter's II Morrow Apollo line of aircraft MFD/GPS/NAV/COMM units product line. II Morrow was founded in Salem, Oregon in 1982 as a manufacturer of LORAN C marine and general aviation products. In 1982 its aircraft navigator 602 LORAN C receiver permitted point to point navigation. Some examples of its LORAN units are Apollo II 616B Aviation LORAN panel mount (1886), II Morrow Apollo 604 Loran Navigator (1987) and Apollo 820 GPS Flybuddy (1991). In 1986, United Parcel Service (UPS) purchased the company to expand the use of electronic technology in the package delivery and tracking business.

IImorrow shifted focus from marine business to development of package process automation technology for UPS such as vehicle management systems, automated high speed package sorting systems, as well as delivery and tracking systems. In 1999, IImorrow was renamed to UPS Aviation Technologies, and it was re-focused towards modernizing UPS' Boeing 7xx series Heavy Iron Transport Category Aircraft fleet, as well they also re-entered the general aviation marketplace. It certified the first Gamma 3 WAAS GPS engine for FAA Certified Precision GPS approaches.[citation needed] The new certified WAAS engine yielded vertical and horizontal accuracy of one meter RMS in guidance into airports without existing ILS approaches. This GPS technology met the FAA's TSO-C146a primary navigation standards for en route, terminal and approach phases of flight- with WAAS augmentation as the sole means of navigation. This primary GPS "sole source" navigation capability was integrated into the CNX-80. The CNX-80 WAAS GPS/COM/NAV integrated navigator was the first product in the industry approved for primary GPS navigation. It also enabled LPV "glidescope" approaches without requiring ground nav aids. New LNAV (GPS) approaches provide the accuracy and safety of an ILS – without the ground-based localizer and glideslope equipment.[citation needed] Later, the CNX-80 was renamed the GNS-480, under Garmin.

As UPS Aviation Technologies, this subsidiary was also fundamentally involved with development, engineering, and manufacturing functional products for the FAA's Capstone program, which also included ADS-B transponder (UAT and FIS), datalink services, and the MX-20 Multi Function Display that in addition to NAV, it displayed terrain, real-time weather, Jeppeson plates, other ADS-B aircraft, and a variety of other functions in 2000.

Under the FAA Capstone Phase I program, a fleet of small commercial aircraft were equipped for an evaluation of the safety benefits stemming from the use of advanced technologies during day-to-day operations in Alaska's high-risk operating environment. The aircraft are fitted with IFR capable GPS receivers, a Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) data-link system that enables Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Flight Information Services (FIS) including real-time weather, and a multifunction display (MFD) depicting terrain, other ADS-B aircraft, and weather graphics and text data. These avionics was installed on 200 aircraft used for commuter, charter and mail flights in southwest Alaska.

Maps[edit]

Most current Garmin devices can display the current location on a map. The maps are vector-based and stored in the built-in memory or loaded from additional flash media. The built-in (or 'basemap') displays all country borders and major cities. Garmin offers different maps for purchase, including detailed road maps, topographic maps and nautical maps. Non-commercial maps are also available and can be displayed on most Garmin GPS devices.

The maps used by Garmin products are currently provided by Navteq.[37] Map errors are handled using Navteq Map Reporter.[38] Errors can be reported using Garmin's report a map error page,[39] or by using the Navteq map reporter.[40]

Sport sponsorships[edit]

In 2007 Garmin began sponsorship of English Premier League football club Middlesbrough in a one-year deal that was carried into a second year for the 2008/09 season.[41] In 2008 Garmin began sponsorship of cycling team Garmin-Sharp to promote its Edge line of bicycle computers.[42]

Corporate structure[edit]

Garmin has grown into a large multinational organization. As with many similar companies, it is organized as a series of holding corporations and operational subsidiaries.

Garmin Ltd. is the Swiss parent company of a group of companies founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao. Its subsidiary Garmin International, Inc. serves as U.S. headquarters and is located in Olathe, Kansas, in the United States. The largest operating subsidiary and primary production facility of Garmin Limited is Garmin (Asia) Corporation (Chinese: 台灣國際航電股份有限公司), located in Xizhi District, Taiwan, a district of New Taipei City.

Garmin was incorporated in Switzerland on February 9, 2010, as successor to Garmin Ltd., a Cayman Islands company (“Garmin Cayman”). Garmin Cayman was incorporated on July 24, 2000, as a holding company for Garmin Corporation, a Taiwanese corporation, in order to facilitate a public offering of Garmin Cayman shares in the United States. On June 27, 2010, Garmin became the ultimate parent holding company of the Garmin group of companies.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Garmin (GRMN) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest
  2. ^ a b Garmin (GRMN) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest
  3. ^ Česká Republika. "United Kingdom | 25 Years". Garmin. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  4. ^ Hesseldahl, Arik. "A GPS Pioneer Retires". Forbes. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Garmin Founder Min Kao on the Twists and Turns of GPS". Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Johnson-Freese, Joan (2007). Space as a strategic asset. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 41. ISBN 0231510012. 
  7. ^ "Fiscal year 2006 report: 02.14.07" (PDF). 
  8. ^ Garmin Ltd.History
  9. ^ "Aircell Gets on Board with Garmin; New Garmin/Aircell Products to Enhance Flight Communication and Safety". 
  10. ^ "Gary Burrell's entry on the Forbes List of the Richest Americans, 2005". Retrieved 11 December 2005. 
  11. ^ "Min Kao's entry on the Forbes List of the Richest Americans, 2005". Retrieved 11 December 2005. 
  12. ^ SEC Info – Garmin Ltd – 10-K – For 12/28/02
  13. ^ "Garmin S1 Filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, 11 September 2000". Retrieved 11 December 2005. 
  14. ^ "GARMIN AT: Quantum Leaps in Avionics Integration". Retrieved 7 December 2007. 
  15. ^ "Acquisition of DII: 12.01.06". 
  16. ^ "Acquisition of EME: 01.03.07". 
  17. ^ "Acquisition of DCI: 01.05.07". 
  18. ^ City, Kansas (28 March 2007). "Garmin buys Oregon company Nautamatic". 
  19. ^ "Garmin confirms its acquisition of Navigon is complete". 
  20. ^ "Garmin Announces GPS Product Support for Mac OS X". Retrieved 25 June 2006. 
  21. ^ "A New Look". Retrieved 4 November 2006. 
  22. ^ "The Garmin Store: 11.11.06". Retrieved 4 November 2006. 
  23. ^ Garmin eTrex GPS Receiver, Specifications Article
  24. ^ GPSTrackLog.com, May 2007: New Garmin eTrex models officially announced
  25. ^ "Garmin: Basic Handhelds: Etrex". Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  26. ^ "Garmin eTrex and GLONASS: A powerful combination". Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  27. ^ "Garmin". Garmin. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  28. ^ "Garmin Mobile PC launched, April 2008". 
  29. ^ "Garmin-Asus nuvifone Phones unveiled for MWC 2009", I4U News, 4 February 2009
  30. ^ "Garmin-Asus nuvifone G60 hitting AT&T on October 4, $299.99 on a 2-yr contract", Portable Media Player Daily News, 29 September 2009
  31. ^ G1000
  32. ^ G900X
  33. ^ G600
  34. ^ a b Welcome to Garmin Superstore
  35. ^ GPS 155/165 TSO
  36. ^ "Epic AIR Goes Garmin & Unveils New Jet and Turboprop: 04.17.07". 
  37. ^ "Garmin Ltd. Extends Agreement with NAVTEQ". Garmin. 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  38. ^ "About NAVTEQ Map Reporter". NAVTEQ. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  39. ^ "Garmin's Report a Map Error". Garmin. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  40. ^ "NAVTEQ Map Reporter". NAVTEQ. Retrieved 2010-10-09. 
  41. ^ "Garmin to sponsor Middlesbrough". 
  42. ^ Macur, Juliet (19 June 2008). "Another American Team Receives a Title Sponsor - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 

External links[edit]