Magellan Sells GPS Line to Mio Parent

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Hang onto your old Magellan GPS units, because they’re about to become collector’s items. The former GPS goliath that helped usher in the era of personal navigation units over the last decade will sell off its consumer products division in the future to Taiwanese rival Mitac, maker of the popular Mio and Navman brands.

Magellan announced the “definitive agreement to sell” on Monday, which it expects to close in January 2009. Neither company has disclosed financial details of the arrangement, or what will become of Magellan’s existing GPS lines, such as the Triton, Maestro, and RoadMate.

A dramatic fall in GPS prices over the past few years saw Magellan’s premium devices lose traction in the marketplace. According to numbers from NPD group, it fell from holding a 45 percent market share at its peak to 15 percent just last year.

Besides its GPS business, Mitac also manufactures motherboards, high-end workstations and servers, set-top boxes, and other electronics.