Special Coverage

Geneva
Auto Show

PARIS – With its partner TomTom NV, Renault SA will offer a low-priced embedded navigation system in the new Clio to be introduced at next month’s Geneva auto show.

The Carminat TomTom will be offered as an option for less than €500 ($645), while Renault’s existing Carminat navigation systems range €1,200-€2,000 ($1,550-$2,585).

TomTom in 2007 purchased a development center from SiemensVDO in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, that had 20 years experience in navigation integration.

“With this competence, we were able to develop this system twice as fast as usual,” Giles Shrimpton, general manager-automotive division, says in a Web conference with the media.

TomTom is a leader in low-priced aftermarket global-positioning systems, and the deal with Renault is the first time the company has worked on an integrated product.

TomTom’s system is built into the vehicle’s dashboard and offers services such as speed-limit warnings, traffic-jam updates and information about fixed radar locations.

Drivers can personalize their system with their own photograph on the welcome screen and can view three-dimensional maps. Map updates can be purchased online through a dedicated website, loaded onto a secure-digital card and inserted into the system.

Patrick Vergelas, Renault’s director of cross-platform projects, says the Carminat TomTom is appearing first in the Clio to reach a wide market. Later, it will be added on the Megane. Up to now, the Clio has not offered a navigation system.

Vergelas says TomTom guarantees the online services, while Renault’s vehicle guarantee covers the physical system for two or three years, depending on the market.