Kenwood Says Garmin Alliance Bears Fruit

By Amy Gilroy On Aug 4 2008 - 6:00am

Kenwood said its alliance with Garmin has helped it gain the top slot in in-dash navigation dollar sales.

The company announced it sold 18,000 in-car navigation units running Garmin software in 75 days, during a joint Kenwood-Garmin ad campaign that ran from May to July. The promotion included radio spots and print ads with dealer tags. Kenwood consumer electronics senior VP Keith Lehmann said Kenwood's partnership with Garmin is exclusive within the aftermarket.

At a press conference, Lehmann said Kenwood was the leader in navigation sales in the mobile electronics channel during the first quarter, with 49 percent of dollar volume at retail, according to The NPD Group. NPD later confirmed the statistic.

Lehmann also presented data showing that navigation (including portable GPS) is one of the only growth categories in car stereo. When combined with mobile video, the sector represents 60 percent of total aftermarket dollar sales and 50 percent of the volume.

By contrast, sales of non-navigation autosound items fell 19.3 percent from June 2007 through May 2008 in retail dollar sales, according to NPD, said Kenwood.

CD receiver sales fell 23.6 percent, amplifiers by 23.3 percent and mobile multimedia declined by 21.6 percent, for the 12 months period, he said. NPD confirmed these three figures.

Kenwood noted that some retailers have been able to expand business by pursuing expediter sales (to local car dealers) with some creating 20 percent to 50 percent additional business.

The company said it will offer more promotions with Garmin in the future and said it is pursuing the emerging market of digital TV in the car.

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