Dealers See Gains In SiriusXM 2.0 Products

By Joseph Palenchar On Jul 16 2012 - 4:01am




NEW YORK – Select retailers describe sales of dockand- play and installed satellite-radio 2.0 tuners as “good” or “strong,” with sales of the installed SXV200V1 tuner driven by the growing number of head units compatible with the black-box add-on.

A $50 mail-in rebate available from SiriusXM from July through September is also helping promote SXV200V1 sales by bringing the product’s price down to $29 from a suggested $79, excluding installation. The $50 rebate is the highest quarterly rebate offered by SiriusXM for the SXV200V1 or its predecessor, the SXV100V1, which lacked 2.0 service. The rebate in the previous quarter was $30.

Future 2.0 sales gains for dock-andplay and installed tuners will be driven in part by growing consumer awareness of 2.0 service as well as by expanding the selection of low-priced head units compatible with the add-on, some dealers said.

Alpine, Clarion, Dual, Sony, JVC and Kenwood offer head units compatible with the SXV200V1. For its part, Pioneer is “closely studying” the addition of a SVX200V1-compatible port for its head units, said car marketing VP Ted Cardenas. Sales of the SXV200V1 “must be doing well if they [dealers] want it from us,” he said.

Satellite-radio 2.0 service, launched last October, currently adds 22 channels to the SiriusXM lineup, including more commercial-free music offerings, additional comedy channels, and more Hispanic-oriented channels. More channels are promised.

The SXV200V1 became available in April, and the $139-suggested 2.0-compatible Edge dock-and-play unit became available last October. The 2.0-compatible $249 Lynx dock-and-play tuner became available the last week of December 2011.

The SXV200V1 black-box reduces the cost of adding satellite-radio service to a satellite-ready head unit to $80, excluding installation, down from a previous $100 to $140, excluding installation, SiriusXM has said. More important, it allows for a standardized one-cable connection to head units from multiple suppliers, eliminating the need to stock different add-on adapters for different brands of heads. As a result, dealers are more likely to have all the components they need in stock to sell a black-box tuner to a particular customer.

Among retailers, Car Toys senior merchandising VP Jim Warren is happy with 2.0 sales to date. “Based on sales alone, both installers and customers took to the new 2.0 service very quickly,” he said. “Installed units have especially been strong. Within weeks of introduction, the SXV200V1 overtook all other tuners due to its ease of install and the 2.0 service.”

The Seattle-based chain also sells the Edge dock-and-play unit, and the Lynx dock-and-play is just now hitting the chain’s shelves.

At Best Buy, a spokesperson told TWICE: “Overall, we have seen good success in satellite radio 2.0 but believe there is still greater potential as awareness improves around advantages of 2.0.”

“While retail sales on satellite radio continue to decline,” the spokesperson admitted, “we anticipate 2.0 will change the trajectory in the future. It is fairly new to the marketplace, and SiriusXM needs to continue building awareness.”

As for sales of the SCV200V1 black-box tuner, the company said, “The predecessor has performed very well to date while the new 2.0 black box has not caught on as quickly as we have hoped.” Nonetheless, the chain said, “We see big opportunity in the new box, and this is an area we are focusing on as we continue to improve our overall SiriusXM business.”

For his part, Robert Elliott, executive director of the In Car Experts buying group, said the 2.0 black-box tuner has been “well-received” by his specialty dealer members and “made for a re-engagement with satellite radio.” He attributed that reengagement to the expanded channel lineup, smaller size for easier placement in small vehicles, and universal connectivity without worrying whether adapters for particular brands of head units are in stock. “Specialists are now incorporating it in their add-one sales process whereas before it was too big of a hurdle,” he said, also attributing that to the lower price points of the SVX100V1, SXV200V1 and SCC-1 black-box tuners compared to previous models. The lower prices make it easier to recommend as an add-on to head units whose prices have fallen markedly in recent years, he said.

At Crutchfield, the SXV100V1 and SVX200V1 tuners have “boosted” the company’s overall black-box satellite-tuner sales, which also includes the SCC-1, said Carl Mathews, mobile merchandising senior director. Sales of the two universal tuners have risen in tandem with the number of compatible head units, he said.

The Charlottesville, Va.-based direct-to-consumer retailers sold the SXV100V1 since April 2011, when only Alpine had compatible heads, then in December of last year and March of this year, the number of compatible heads grew again.

The company has been selling the SXV200V1 since May, and “it looks like it started doing nicely in June,” he added.

As for 2.0 dock-and-play units, he said the more expensive Lynx is selling better than the Edge. Overall, however, dock-and-play sales are shrinking because of the growing OEM installed base and consumer’s lack of interest in hanging devices from the dash.

Rick Cofield, president of the Texas-based Custom Sounds 12-volt chain, said the SXV200 is selling well and that his overall black-box tuner sales are up, but he attributed that solely to rising head unit sales at his stores, not to a growing desire from consumers for satellite radio.

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