As I walked the floor of the National Marine Electronics Association show late last month, I noticed something unusual. The familiar Humminbird/Geonav split booth now displayed only Humminbird products. Come to find out: The company that owns both brands — Johnson Outdoors — has decided to phase out Geonav, for a variety of reasons.
Jeff Davison, senior business director for the electronics group, explained that when Johnson bought Geonav four years ago, it didn’t foresee that Humminbird — traditionally a freshwater brand — would grow as much as it has in the marine market. But with Side Imaging, Down Imaging, and now 360 Imaging, Humminbird’s star has risen among fresh- and saltwater boaters.
In addition, Davison acknowledged some difficulties in the Geonav plan. So with one brand lagging and another soaring, Johnson decided to unify its efforts. In early August, the company notified its dealers that it would no longer take Geonav orders. Any boater that currently owns a Geonav unit will still receive customer support through Humminbird.
Davison says Humminbird has a whole new range of products to roll out in the future. Some will involve Geonav technology; some will be completely new. He couldn’t offer details on timing, but said anglers can expect some “competitive saltwater offshore offerings.”
I’m looking forward to it.