By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
CLEVELAND — OEM sales of automotive entertainment and convenience features surged to $2.6 billion in U.S. sales in 2002, up from $1.8 billion in 1997, according to a new study by The Freedonia Group. The study includes sales of autosound, as well as OE telephones, video screens and temperature controls, which are expected to climb to $3.5 billion by 2007. OEM autosound sales alone accounted for $2.4 billion in U.S. sales in 2001, the company said.
DETROIT — Panasonic said it is supplying a DVD rear-seat entertainment system designed for cars with sunroofs for General Motors. The system will be available as an option on select 2004 SUVs, pickup trucks and crossover vehicles from Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Buick. The system includes a retractable 7-inch 16:9 LCD with two sets of wireless headphones, wireless remote and DVD player.
HEATHROW, FLA. — Dual Audio is entering the 12-volt marine audio market with two CD receivers. The model MXD60 is a 50 watt by 4 unit with a detachable faceplate, and the MXD50 is rated at 45 watts by 4. Both units are "ruggedized" with clear-coated circuit boards and rust resistant chassis. Suggested retail prices are $249 and $179, respectively.
VISTA, Calif. — Directed Electronics, Inc. (DEI) said it reached settlements and licensing agreements with six security suppliers. DEI said it dropped its patent infringement suit against the companies as a result of the new agreements. The companies involved include Precision Engineering Industries, Crimestopper, David Levy Co., Accele Electronics, Eli Electronics and The Right Connection Electronics. Clarion reached a settlement with DEI earlier this year. DEI filed a complaint in September 2001 against eight car security companies alleging patent infringement. DEI owns approximately 80 patents, some of which concern multistage shock sensors, sensor bypass and door lock pull.
WASHINGTON — Satellite Radio is on the Christmas lists of more women than men, according to a new study issued by CEA. Of the consumers surveyed, more women said they were interested in satellite radio than men (51 percent vs. 46 percent). In addition, more adults under the age of 34 said they were interested in satellite radio than those over 55 years (63 percent vs. 38 percent,). However, 51 percent of those surveyed said they would not be willing to pay the extra fee for satellite radio service. CEA senior market analyst Sean Wargo said, "The challenge for satellite radio will be selling consumers on the notion of paying for radio … history has shown through the launch of cable TV in the 60s, consumers will pay more to receive access to higher quality and greater choice." The study found 50 percent were very interested in satellite radio's ability to display song titles, 62 percent in weather reports and 51 percent in traffic updates. The study was performed by eBrain in March and included an online sample of 1160 U.S. adults. It also investigated consumer interest in digital radio.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.