Cary Business Company Profile: Garmin International

Garmin International knows where it’s going — as well it should. As a global leader in GPS navigation and communications, Garmin develops not only the automotive products that lead drivers to their destinations, but products for aviation, marine, fitness, outdoor and wireless applications as well.

Cary became part of Garmin’s worldwide presence in April 2010, with the opening of a new research and development center.

“Opening an office in Research Triangle is a critical step in expanding our ability to launch new wireless devices to markets around the world,” said Garmin Chief Operating Officer Cliff Pemble. “Because we’re new to the smartphone space, we needed a fast influx of experienced wireless engineering talent, and our Cary office is a reflection of that.”

Garmin, founded in 1990, now has more than 8,500 employees worldwide. In 2009 the company reported nearly $3 billion in revenue and 17 million units sold worldwide.
As a corporate citizen, the company supports organizations such as the United Way, YMCA and American Cancer Society, and nonprofits related to the markets it serves.

“Garmin has grown into a respected global brand for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost, it’s because of the talent and hard work of our associates,” Pemble said. “Garmin is a vertically integrated company; we design, manufacture, market and sell our products ourselves. It’s through this cooperation and collaboration that we’re able to build exciting new products for our customers.”

New products in personal navigation include the sleek nüvi 3700 series, and the recently introduced Garminfone with T-Mobile, which Pemble calls the first Android-powered smartphone, an all-in-one device for mobile lifestyles.

Features of these products, such as connected services and touch-screen interfaces, are also being applied to Garmin’s outdoor, marine and aviation markets, Pemble says.
“We’re always thinking of new ways to invent, adapt and improve products, and that will remain our focus,” he said. “We’ll continue to bring location-based technology and features into products that can enrich our customers’ lives.”


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