Navman development centre to close: source

Navman hands out redundancy notices to up to 100 employees, says former staff member

Navman will shed about 70 staff as its owner, US-based Brunswick, sells its businesses to Norwegian and Taiwanese companies, according to media reports. A former staffer, who did not wish to be identified, told Computerworld the company's Christchurch development centre will be shut down, with the loss of around 40 jobs.

The rest of the job cuts are in Auckland and range from senior finance people, commercial managers, all the way down to logistics staff, he says.

He also says Navman has handed out redundancy notices to around 100 employees in the last few days.

“The company is in complete turmoil at the moment – [the] supply chain system, Syteline, has been separated out for the different business groups, [for example] marine, sat-nav and wireless, along with the warehouse people,” the source says.

This means that all of the warehouse staff now belong to the marine division, and they are unable to process and ship orders for the satellite navigation division, he says.

The satellite navigation business division was told mid-day yesterday that it had until the end of the week to find a home for all of its stock and to put processes and systems in place to be able to ship orders to its major retailers and distributors in New Zealand, says the source. To make things worse, the Australian sales management division appears unwilling to help the local sales staff sort out the situation, he says. Marine and leisure products company Brunswick announced earlier this week that jobs would go as Navman's marine electronics business was sold to Navico International, from Norway, and its portable navigation device (PND) business was sold to Taiwan-based MiTac International. Brunswick is not only selling Navman, but all of its Brunswick New Technologies operations, which includes Navman, Northstar and MX Marine brands, says Daniel Kubera, Brunswick’s director of media relations.

“As we became increasingly focused on our core business segments – marine, fitness, bowling and billiards – Brunswick determined that continuing to invest in this business unit is not consistent with our long-term strategic objectives,” Kubera says.

Kubera confirms that Navico has identified about 20 positions as redundant.

Fifty PND staff are to be made redundant, according to The Dominion Post, however,MiTac could not be reached for comment.

Brunswick is still looking for a buyer for Navman’s fleet management business, says Kubera. Peter Maire, who founded Navman in 1986, has expressed interest in buying that division.

In 2003, Brunswick acquired a 70% stake in the Navman for $54 million. A year later, Brunswick acquired the rest of the company for $52.4 million.

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