Garmin is a well-established player in the GPS space. They create GPS products for cars, planes, and boats, and also manufacture products for sporting and other outdoor activities.
Garmin was founded in 1989 in Lenexa, Kansas by Gary Burrell and Min H. Kao. The company was first known as ProNav, and the first product produced was a GPS unit that sold for a hefty $2,500. Seems crazy for sure, but at the time the price was right. As many years rolled by, the company name changed to ‘Garmin’. The name was derived by combining the names of Gary and Min, to form the now familiar company name.
By the year 2000, Garmin sold more than three million GPS devices. Impressive for sure, especially when you consider the company produced well over 50 different models. Their products at that point were sold in over 100 countries and carried by over 2,500 distributors. Impressive when you consider their humble beginnings.
Garmin began to amass an impressive patent database as well. As of August 2000, the company held more than 35 patents on GPS technology. At the end of that same year, Garmin began trading on the NASDAQ exchange. Both Burrell and Kao owned roughly 45% of shares in the company at that point.
In more recent times (2006), Garmin launched a number of new things. First off, they revealed a new corporate logo (one that you’ve no doubt seen). But more importantly for many, the company also released all of its software for Mac OS X. The same year saw the company open a retail store on Chicago’s shopping mecca on Michigan Avenue. Again, impressive when you consider the humble beginnings.
Still one of the most well established players in the GPS market, Garmin has more than 9,200 associates in more than 30 offices worldwide.