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Stephen Shankland/CNET

Nokia Here claims lead in navigation systems

At Paris Auto Show, the Finnish company boasts of its successes winning over automakers who pay to use the mapping technology in their vehicles.

Paris Motor Show hall
Stephen Shankland/CNET

PARIS -- Of the 62 cars that debuted this week at the Paris Motor Show, 50 use Nokia's Here technology for navigation, the company boasted Thursday.

The figure includes both commercially available vehicles and concept cars that automakers show off without necessarily bringing them to market. The figure excludes cars that don't have in-dash navigation abilities, though, the Finnish company said at the show here.

Nokia Here, which stems from the company's Navteq acquisition, is a key part of the company's future after selling its mobile devices unit to Microsoft. The Here technology includes maps of numerous countries as well as apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Firefox OS devices.

However, Here faces serious challenges. One of the biggest is Google Maps, which isn't typically built into cars the way Here often is, but which many people use for navigation using their phones. Google has steadily expanded the abilities of Maps, adding Street View, maps of building interiors, and photos taken by thousands of people who've uploaded them to Google services.

Nokia has shown some modest progress with the business. It shipped Here in 3.3 million cars in the second quarter of 2014, up from 2.7 million the year earlier. However, the revenue from those sales was flat at €232 million, or about $293 million, and no operating profit for the business unit.

In the auto industry, Nokia's Here customers include BMW, Daimler, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo. More than 50 million cars globally are equipped with it.