Garmin Reorganises for 2023 – FENIX Business Team Merged

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Source: garmin.com

Garmin reorganises for 2023

Garmin’s full results for 2022 are out and hidden away in the footnotes is a tantalising tidbit of info that signal significant changes within the company.

As of now, Garmin has combined two business segments, AUTO and OUTDOOR, and the company makes this statement.

 

Change in Operating Segments:
In January 2023, the Company combined the consumer auto operating segment with the outdoor operating segment. As a result, beginning with reports filed in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, the Company’s operating segments will be fitness, outdoor, aviation, marine, and auto OEM. Prior periods will be recast to conform to the revised composition. [Garmin]

the Company announced an organization realignment, which combines the consumer auto operating segment with the outdoor operating segment. As a result, beginning with reports filed in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, the Company’s operating segments will be fitness, outdoor, aviation, marine, and auto OEM. [Garmin]

 

What does that mean? Where is the change?

Simplistically, the car stuff that’s sold directly to the public is now moved within the OUTDOOR organisational segment.

Garmin also sells other automotive stuff directly to, say, vehicle manufacturers which are then sold as part of the finished vehicle.

This kind of organisation makes sense to me as, for example, the salesforce required to sell Garmin products to the likes of GM, VW and Porsche is different to the salesforce that sells consumer satnavs to the likes of Walmart and Halfords. The point of sales materials are different and the warranties are different…and so on. It does make sense to move consumer automotive into another consumer-focused segment, some of the customers might even be the same eg Walmart.

the Best Sleep Tracker [2023]

Why Outdoor?

Why indeed! That is a more interesting question.

The following chart displays high-level operating figures that have been restated historically based on the new organizational structure planned for the future. Observing the figures for 2021, it appears that combining Consumer Auto with Outdoor has created a well-balanced division that performs similarly to Fitness, resulting in two comparable business units. However, as we fast forward to the end of 2023, we see that the world has changed, and the Outdoor+Consumer Auto division has grown to be 50% larger than FITNESS.

What Does This Mean

We can interpret this situation in different ways, but ultimately we do not have enough information about the politics or economics that are the true cause.

I believe the main reason behind this move is to reduce headcount costs and other overheads by streamlining the old AUTO business unit.

It appears that the new AUTO OEM business unit’s gross profits are around 30%, and this particular business is loss-making. Therefore, another explanation is that AUTO OEM is now highlighted as a problem child and may even be considered for closure, demerger, or sale.

Perhaps the executive who oversees OUTDOOR is a shrewd character who saw an opportunity to take control of a reasonably profitable part of the company. Alternatively, that person may have been recognized as a skilled manager of that kind of business. It’s difficult to say for sure.

Some people may argue that this move doesn’t make sense and that even the old structure made little sense. They simplify the matter by stating that Fenix products and Forerunner products are essentially the same and should be combined into one business unit. However, Garmin is likely organized based on customer behaviours rather than product technologies. Therefore, even though you and I might have a hard time deciding between a FORERUNNER or a FENIX, the structure probably makes sense. That said, Garmin has created a skewed internal business structure that increases the power and prestige of the OUTDOOR business unit.

Finally, I am unsure if there are any obvious implications for those of us interested in Garmin’s sports technology products. Any thoughts on this are welcome below.

 

More…

Garmin 2022 results crash for Fitness

 

 

Source: Garmin,

 

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Garmin Reorganises for 2023 – FENIX Business Team Merged

  1. I interpret these slightly differently, given Fenix & Epix are in the Outdoor segment, that actually the decline in Fitness is reflected in the growth in Outdoor – and if Fitness & Outdoor were combined to “Land” (as opposed to Marine & Aviation) – it would be pretty obvious that the core Garmin revenue remains firmly in the running/cycling/hiking/ consumer level fitness line-up, where the Fenix/Epix in simple terms are premium versions of the Forerunner line-up.

    1. And when I say the decline is reflected in the growth, obviously there is still a down-turn, as you’d expect with watches reaching a level of functionality and ability there is less of a ‘need’ to upgrade than there was historically.

      Two questions –
      1) can Garmin further monetize their existing customers who have a watch on their wrist that meets all the needs that they ‘think they have’ and don’t expect to swap it out for another 4 or 5 years? (ie people like me) – could this perhaps be in the Connect space with a paid for tier of subscription similar to Strava (although I’ve no idea what could be added)?

      2) Is there something significantly new and compelling coming along that will drive people to upgrade?

      1. yeah sensible question. i can only speculate.
        1) dcr has hinted at his like of subscription like services but i just can’t see garmin doing that for different chunks of fitness features. I accept that “emergency assistance” is different as would be other LTE services, where the subscription here is effectively paying for the response centre.
        2) probably not ! perhaps one angle that garmin IS already pursuing is to get certain consumer segments to actively seek out 2 device purchases eg one for sport one for smarts and one for sleep (or combinations thereof)

        ultimately you and i pay a notable premium for Garmins products. I’d argue that a premium set of features is a fundamental component of the premium price.

    2. fair enough from the info i posted.
      however there is also this “Outdoor: Revenue from the outdoor segment grew 3% in the fourth quarter primarily due to growth in handhelds and services.”, so this is implying to me that Fenix and Epix could be experiencing some decline

  2. Why outdoor?

    Simple. Not for the fenix watches, but for the handheld gps devices, which are kinda like the car navigation devices

      1. I think there is some kind of channel segmentation. Dedicated running shops that I have browsed will stock forerunner watches only. But Outdoor shops like REI stocks fenix and forerunner and instinct range and also inReach communicators and and handheld GPS. I wonder if suburban mall department stores and casual fitness gyms stock vivo products?

        This seems like a dated strategy to me but I’m no expert in retail.

        Online retailers like Amazon, Backcountry, and REI stock everything.

      2. yeah the big ones will have dedicated account managers and centralised/warehouse delivery points. smaller retailers will share account managers and may even get deliveries to specific stores.

  3. If you talk about fitness and outdoor merging to be land, then I you would expect another split with a smaller division focusing on health only.

    This could cover the simple trackers that Garmin had already before moving into rings and patches.

    The continuous monitoring of things like HR, HRV, sleep, lactate, glucose etc and I expect this to become subscription side of the business long term for many stream, it will probably be with acquisition of existing companies

    1. Seen from the perspective of aviation (and to a slightly less degree I think) marine business units, a Fenix is pretty much in the same sector as the tiniest activity tracker. And golf rangefinders, off-road navigation units and hunting dog collars are also not that different. That Garmin shop in walking distance to the yacht harbor? Chances are they don’t even know that a product called “Fenix” exists.

  4. I think they see the dedicated auto navigation devices as a shrinking segment. It has exactly 4 products, one of which is a super-much sports car high performance driving trainer electronic coach thingy. Backup cam is mostly standard equipment now. Dash cam is commoditized. Navigation system has to be almost entirely supplanted by smart phones, Android auto and Apple CarPlay.

    I think they are just winding down this market segment.

    1. i think so too. I don’t know much about these products but i think they have weird RV and ones for driving dune buggies across various bits of wilderness. not the huguest of markets i imagine

  5. there is a certain amount of sense to this. however their structure must be considered deeply flawed while they continue to have forerunner and fenix lines developed entirely separately despite being virtually identical products.

    it seems like they are oriented around sales channels rather than products. to me, you develop a good product first and foremost, then let the sales people do their thing which is easy given a good product. instead, they developed the fenix which seems to be pretty good, and largely in parallel developed the FR955 which is almost identical but with some better hardware (GPS) and a god-awful bug-ridden software base. and they continue to add features to both these devices, separately. the overheads of that, not to mention the doubled risk of bugs (which mostly seems to be coming out on the FR side) has to outweigh any benefits in market-orientation

      1. It seems pretty clear from the outside they they have a common generational hardware platform base and a common source base. They appear to have feature branches developed by product teams independently and then merged back to the common base where they are enabled if the hardware supports it.

  6. If you ignore the watches for a moment, what they have in outdoor matches quite well with the non-OEM auto parts: those seem to be mostly off road adventure stuff and will go along really well with expedition comms, hunting stuff and even the “tactical” watches that would make the bulk of the outdoor segment if it wasn’t for the Fenix and its closer siblings (Epix and Enduro).

    What’s off is how much of the market seems to consider the Fenix the “more serious” *running* watch, and not so much something that Scott and Amundsen would have worn if they already had GPS back then. (and when you look at the Enduro it only gets “more fitness”). But as far as their marketing structures go they seem to not even consider those explicitly “outdoor”, they are just wearables that appear in both categories. I feel tempted to consider those divisions not so much product categories, but conservative (all their outdoor seems to be “very masculine”) vs progressive (in fitness girls exists guys don’t always pretend to be in life or death situations)

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