Garmin Introduces “Speak” in Partnership with Amazon to Bring Alexa to Automobiles

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By Jacob Maslow

Garmin Ltd. (GRMN) stock is down 0.35% on Wednesday after the company’s stock rose on Monday and Tuesday. The stock gained early in the week on news that the company has partnered with Amazon (AMZN) to incorporate Alexa into automobiles through their Garmin Speak product.

The product was announced on Tuesday and will integrate with a car’s stereo.

Speak will allow you to use Alexa’s ability to listen to music, ask what the weather is like, read audiobooks and even provide news headlines through the car’s stereo system. Garmin has incorporated their turn-by-turn navigation functionality into Speak.

Users can say “Alexa, ask Garmin” and will be able to ask for directions without having to lift a finger.

Speak allows users to order Amazon products directly through Alexa’s functionality. Users with smart devices at home will also be able to control all of their smart devices right in their automobile. Smart lights, for example, can be turned off from inside of Speak, or you can choose to tell Alexa to control an array of other smart-enabled devices.

Garmin’s sales, once primarily made up of their GPS units, have been offset by the introduction of outdoor products. The company is under increased pressure as more automakers incorporate GPS into their autos, smartphones offer navigation and competition, such as Routefinder Pro, enter the market.

Garmin Speak is an attempt by the company to expand their current product offering and diversify their portfolio.

The company’s outdoor business rose 46.3% in the second quarter of the year, rising to $194.8 million. The rise in the unit’s performance caused the company to revise their revenue forecasts from $3.02 billion to $3.04 billion.

Auto product sales continue to struggle, falling 15.2% during the second quarter. The unit’s sales fell to $208.5 million on the quarter, as demand continues to fall for GPS navigation systems.

Garmin’s fitness device division is also struggling, with sales falling 15% on the quarter. Apple (AAPL) and Fitbit (FIT) are the division’s biggest competitors. The company’s outdoor division of products is helping to offset losses in the fitness and GPS unit.

Garmin’s Vivosport is also exciting consumers with the wearable smartwatch and activity tracker, including a built-in GPS and heart rate tracker. The device’s screen spans 72 x 144 pixels and includes: stress tracking, VO2 monitoring, fitness age estimation, smart notification, 7-day battery life and more.

The company’s stock is up over 13% in the trailing 12-month period on the back of increased product diversification.

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