Garmin plans Novi office to build relationships with automakers

Posted on April 13, 2011

Navigation systems maker Garmin announced plans to open an office in Novi on May 1.

The GPS company’s Novi center will have employees specializing in automotive sales, marketing and engineering, Garmin said. The center will include offices, meeting rooms and product design and garage space. The company plans 20 employees initially and to grow over time.

Matthew Munn, Garmin vice president, managing director/automotive OEM, is in charge of the new office. Munn most recently had worked for Harman International as senior vice president, global sales and marketing, in the automotive division.

“Their capability and commitment to rapidly implement leading-edge connected technologies into the dashboard will result in high-performance system solutions that are both cost-effective to the OEM and useful to the driver,” said Munn. “Garmin is clearly making its automotive OEM business a strategic priority, and I am excited to join them and aggressively grow this business.”

Garmin currently has a 38 percent share of the navigation-system market. Said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and COO: “Having an office located at the hub of the automotive industry will only improve our ability to serve our global customers.”

The office is at leased space off Cabot Drive.

By Roger Castillo, Crain’s Detroit