By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
In its midyear report, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) found that sales of many car audio products will decline more steeply than anticipated in 2008. But, generally, car electronics sales will increase by 25 percent for the year because of strong sales in portable navigation and in the accessory category of Bluetooth headsets.
In its annual July revision of its January forecasts, the CEA said 2008 aftermarket head-unit shipment revenues are expected to decline by 14 percent this year, a steeper decline that the 12 percent loss predicted in January. Speakers, amplifiers and satellite radio will also see steeper declines than originally forecast while sales of personal navigation devices (PNDs), in-dash navigation and mobile video should see bigger gains of 55 percent, 22 percent and 7 percent respectively, compared with the respective gains of 17 percent, 17 percent 1 percent forecast earlier.
The revised forecast found that total aftermarket 2008 shipment revenues, including portable GPS and Bluetooth headsets, will gain by 25 percent this year to close to $7.5 billion, a forecast which is up from the $6 billion in revenues predicted in January.
"The gains are mainly due to increases in PNDs … the other piece is OE integration and the biggest category there is Bluetooth headsets and hands-free car kits," said industry analysis director Steve Koenig, adding, "It underscores the opportunity set for the 12-volt channel. Obviously the core categories have been in decline for some time and are continuing to decline. What was previously perceived as the tertiary market, has now taken center stage, so [the 12-volt channel] is going to need to embrace non-traditional categories if they are going to continue to drive sales and store traffic."
The brightest spot in the revised forecast is the PND. Sales should reach $3.7 billion, up from the $2.8 billion predicted earlier. Bluetooth headsets were also up 22 percent (included under OE integration).
Sales of OEM integration devices, including MP3/iPod integration units, HD Radio, Bluetooth and various adapters, were originally pegged at a 28 percent gain for the year, but have been revised downward to a 26 percent gain.
Since the beginning of the decade, car audio head unit revenue shipments have fallen by 34 percent, while PND sales have skyrocketed.
Head unit revenue shipments in 2007 were $837 million, compared with $1.265 billion in 2000. Speakers, however, were up 15 percent and mobile video was up 1,164 percent over the same seven-year period, said CEA (see chart).Automotive CE Forecast Comparisons
|Source: CEA © TWICE 2008|
|Total Aftermarket Autosound*||5,978||7,498||25%|
|Total Aftermarket Autosound and OEM||11,297||12,923||14%|
|*Includes portable and fixed navigation|
** Excludes portable navigation, but includes fixed navigation devices
***Includes iPod/MP3, HD Radio and Bluetooth car kits, Bluetooth headsets and other adaptors
Source: CEA © TWICE 2008
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