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TomTom targeting deals with U.S. automakers: CEO

By Toby Sterling

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - TomTom's order intake from carmakers is currently lagging last year's, but the emergence of rival Here backed by a trio of German automakers means other manufacturers are keener to do business with the Dutch navigation firm, its CEO said on Friday.

In 2015, TomTom <TOM2.AS> had 300 million euros ($327 million) worth of orders for its built-in navigation and traffic information systems from carmakers. So far in 2016, it has only 200 million euros.

"It is lumpy. We do have a good run rate so far, and though there have been fewer deals available this year, there's quite a bit cooking", CEO Harold Goddijn told an investor event in Amsterdam, adding the company was focused on winning customers in the United States.


With its traditional consumer electronics and satellite navigation businesses threatened by smartphones, TomTom has focused on doing deals with automakers, placing it in head-to-head competition with Here.

Here is the former Nokia mapping business now owned by German automakers Audi <VOWG_p.DE>, BMW <BMWG.DE> and Daimler <DAIGn.DE>.

"I think the Here acquisition by the BAD guys - bad is BMW, Audi and Daimler ... has made it easier for us to gain access to (carmaker) boardrooms." Goddijn said.

"Generally speaking, and it's not surprising, is that guys outside the consortium want a choice. You always want two suppliers."

"So they want to see us do well."

($1 = 0.9186 euros)

(Writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)