Audi, BMW And Daimler Bought HERE Maps, Nokia's Navigation Division
|   Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Several German car manufacturers have managed to acquire the geolocation and navigation service HERE of the Finnish company Nokia for 2.5 billion euros.
Daimler, BMW and Audi, a division of Volkswagen, obtained the right to use Nokia's Maps service. Each company will hold an equal share in HERE, and neither will attempt to acquire a majority stake, according to a joint statement by Daimler, BMW and Audi.

The transaction will be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
HERE, a company with 6454 employees, reported net sales of 552 million euros in the first half of this year.

Nokia will record gains following the sale of approximately one billion euros due to exchange rate fluctuations.
HERE provides geolocation and navigation service for nearly 200 countries in over 50 languages.

Several other companies in Silicon Valley and some IT firms from China have been interested in Nokia service.
Because the new owners of Here Maps will not change the leadership and business model of the former divisions of Nokia navigation, the provided services will not be affected by the acquisition. The goal of those from Here Maps will remain providing a navigation platform for all consumers, while the partnership between the three German premium manufacturers is to ensure the necessary maps for the autonomous cars which they want to launch in the coming years. By acquiring a company specializing in mapping and real-time maps, the three German manufacturers will save money in the segment of navigation systems and will benefit from updated and detailed maps at a cost lower.

The representatives of the car manufacturers involved in this transaction are pleased by this acquisition, motivating the purchase the maps and navigation division from Nokia with the benefits of frequent updates. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, explains the acquisition from his point of views: "High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future. With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries."

HERE lays the foundation for the next generation of mobility and services based on location, said a joint statement by the carmakers. For the automotive industry, this is the basis for new assistance systems and, ultimately, for fully autonomous driving. Very precise digital maps will be used in combination with real-time data provided by the car to increase road safety and to facilitate new products and innovative services.

"HERE will be able to offer users a continuously improving product, bringing highly automated driving and location based services a step further. As the volume of anonymized data from the vehicles increases, services will become more convenient, more connected and further tailored to the users' individual requirements," according to a statement made by Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG Technical Development, Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG Development, and Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Group Research.
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