Do you know your GPS manufacturer? Who is TomTom?










It has been reported on ITWeb that during the month of May TomTom has made a significant increase in market share in South Africa. More and more South Africans have been buying TomTom GPS devices, and I thought it might be appropriate to find out more about TomTom and the history of this company!

Who is TomTom?

Company Profile:

• A Market leader in Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs)
• Founded in 1991, publicly listed in 2005
• Revenue 2008 €1,674 million
• Offices in Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
• Over 3,300 employees


The brief Company strategy is described as: “TomTom is a digital mapping and routing company that focuses on car navigation. We aim to gain competitive advantage through superior products, a leading brand and a flexible production structure. We deliver Better Maps through a combination of our high quality map data base that is continuously kept up to date through input from our extensive fleet of surveying vehicles and our large community of users. We deliver Better Routing through the world’s largest historical speed profile data base and our unique real time traffic information service. Together this enables TomTom to offer cutting edge navigation solutions that can be used on different hardware platforms.”


Products include Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs), line fitted in-dash navigation solutions and software for use on PDAs and smartphones. Through the Tele Atlas unit the company also supplies digital maps that enable routing guidance.

Company history

TomTom was founded by Harold Goddijn, Peter-Frans Pauwels and Pieter Geelen in 1991. The company’s shares were listed on Euronext Amterdam in May 2005. After years of rapid organic grow supported by small acquisitions a big step was taken in 2008 when Tele Atlas was acquired.

Key figures

TomTom’s annual revenue grew from €8 million in 2002 to €1,674 million in 2008. We are a highly cash generative company with cash generated from operations of €463 million in 2008.


In 2008, TomTom navigation products are sold in over 30 countries (and over 20 languages). TomTom has offices in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. TomTom’s products are mainly sold by retailers, who buy from distributors. Some products and services are also sold online. Tele Atlas provides maps including detailed street-level and interconnecting road networks for 80 countries.

It is important that the prospective buyer of a GPS device do research on the manufacturer of the GPS device he intends to buy. 

We would like to encourage all those interested in buying a GPS device to visit the TomTom Website.