Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Revisiting In-Car Navigation Systems

Last month we wrote about the high cost of in-car navigation systems. The Truth About Cars blog had a related post yesterday which further discusses the pros and cons of in-car versus portable navigation systems.

One point they make is that buying cars, especially high-end models, without the expensive in-car variety is becoming more difficult. Maunfacturers, perhaps reacting to the competitive threat that portable devices pose, are increasingly offering in-car navigation systems bundled in options packages with other in-demand options, such as upgraded stereo systems. So, instead of seeing the in-car navigation option listed at $2000 (versus $500 or so for a portable device), you see that the in-car navigation system comes with the Technology Option Bundle, which costs $4200.

Bundling in-car navigation with other options might allow dealers to protect the huge markups they put on the in-car navigation technology. But car buyers shouldn't fall for it. The Truth About Cars says that the invoice cost of the in-car nav systems to dealers is $400 to $500. Don't pay more.

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