The van market is lagging behind, with the equivalent figure rising from zero to just seven models in the three years to April 2006, according to CAP’s new vehicle data.
Although satellite navigation is not new, CAP’s data demonstrates that car and van makers have taken some time to use it as an incentive to tempt buyers. Three years ago there were 5,400 sat nav systems detailed by CAP. This had only risen to 5,901 by April this year.
CAP’s NVD database also reveals the costs to buyers of integral sat nav systems are not always following the downward trend usually associated with hi tech electronic consumer goods once the public embraces a new.
'The cost of sat nav as an option on some car models has actually increased over the last three years. This is believed to be driven by the fact that the majority of new cars with integral sat nav are sold into the corporate company car market, where the full cost is not borne by the user.
'As well as increasingly featuring as standard equipment on cars, sat nav is also appearing on almost twice as many model lists as an optional extra,' said Grayham Butler, head of specification services at CAP.
In April 2003 Sat Nav was offered as an option on 2,513 cars – a figure which had risen to 4,878 by April 2006.
In contrast, the availability of sat nav as an option has ‘rocketed’ in the light commercials sector from 363 models or derivatives in April 2003 to 1,548 in April this year.
Three years ago the average cost new of sat nav as an option on cars was £1,551. By April 2006 this had fallen to £1,381. However, in some cases the cost has increased. For example, three years ago the average cost of navigation on a Volkswagen Passat was £1,377, a figure which rose to £1,611 in April 2006. For Vauxhall Astra the average has risen from £976 to £1,063.
'One of the most remarkable factors in these statistics is the sheer number of variations available to customers, as satellite navigation is increasingly bundled with other features. Our database reveals there are currently almost 6,000 different systems or combinations of systems available in the new car market, with almost 2,000 more for new vans,' said Butler.