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Garmin installs infotainment systems for Suzuki

The system will be rolled out to countries around the world. — AFP/Relaxnews picThe system will be rolled out to countries around the world. — AFP/Relaxnews picNEW YORK, April 3 — Garmin’s first factory-installed infotainment system will be offered by Suzuki, the automotive electronics giant has confirmed ahead of the system’s first public display at the New York International Auto Show (April 6-15).

The firm said April 2 that its systems would be used in most of Suzuki’s 2013 models, marking the first time that Garmin has offered a full infotainment system as a factory-installed option.

It’s good news for would-be Suzuki buyers, given the frustration that many users of in-car electronics feel with their kit — in a survey last year by J.D. Power and Associates, the highest-ranking satellite navigation equipment was produced by Garmin for the Dodge Charger.

It was one of the stars of a damning report, which found that broadly, consumers struggled to understand their electronic navigation interfaces and praised names such as Garmin, in no small part because of their experience in building navigation systems that are sold on their own.

What remains to be seen is whether Garmin can take that simplicity and retain it when creating a far more complex system, due to be rolled out to countries around the world including Australia and New Zealand, Europe, North America and Russia.

The infotainment solution for Suzuki, for instance, will be able to play music from smartphones, USB sticks, CD and the radio, and will be voice-controlled, as well as containing a relatively advanced navigation solution.

It will also allow a connection to the Internet to access ‘smart’ services such as dynamic parking, fuel prices, weather and other real-time information, as well as a smartphone sync for mobile phones.

Garmin’s rival TomTom jumped into factory-installed systems in 2010 with the launch of a partnership with Renault, that brought Carminat TomTom LIVE online services to vehicles. — AFP/Relaxnews

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