According to Garmin, its nüvi range of satnavs is so good that it can replace Rudolph on Father Christmas' sleigh.

The company has released a statement that reads as follows:

Rudolph, world-renowned Chief Reindeer of Santa’s Reindeers, has surprised the industry by stepping down from his position as team leader.

The departure is termed “amicable”, with an official statement from Rudolph’s camp claiming the reindeer wishes to spend “more time with his family”. However, recent changes of procedure within Santa circles are widely rumoured to be ruffling some feathers (and fur).

“Santa bought a Garmin nüvi 660 personal travel assistant”, says an elf close to both parties, who asked not to be named. “It has a wide 4.3-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth wireless capabilities for making hands-free phone calls and mapping across Europe. It wasn’t a political decision – Santa and Rudolph are still very close. But you have to move with the times, don’t you?”

“It’s even got pre-loaded speed camera information!”, a startled motorist overheard Santa exclaim, sleighing overhead on the M25. “He also speculated loudly whether Rudolph could pick up real-time traffic information to avoid jams. I think he was joking though”, she added.

"Customers driving all sorts of vehicles can benefit from using a Garmin nüvi to navigate their way around this Christmas”, says Garmin’s spokeswoman, Claire Carter. “For someone like Santa who travels a lot it’s a real help. Whether Mr. Claus needs to get from Lapland to Lisbon, Donderen to Dancers End, Comète to Blitzingen or Vixán to Rudolfin, he knows for certain that his Garmin nüvi 660 will get him to all the right parcel drop off points on time, in order to make the dreams come true for millions of Children all over Europe.”

Garmin is also offering sleigh icons for download on its website to add that holiday touch to your satnav.