By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Montreal — Canadian remote start supplier Autostart is officially entering the U.S. market, after testing the waters here for several years. The Canadian supplier has signed up several electronics sales reps and will debut its line through about 400 dealers, or 500 storefronts. The U.S. line will include a flagship two-way combination remote start and security system and several other combination systems. Some systems will have ranges of up to 2,500 feet. Also debuting is a line of Data Interface Modules for simple integration of Autostart systems with car makers' keyless entry and security systems, said the company. Autostart will also introduce vehicle-tracking products before the end of 2003, it said. Autostart began manufacturing remote starters in Canada in 1987 and says it has sold more than 1 million units in that market.
DEARBORN, MICH. — Ford dealers have begun offering Sirius satellite radio receivers in ten 2004 models. The Sirius receivers began selling on Sept. 18, as dealer-installed options, for a fee of $329 each plus installation and tax. Models with Sirius include the Ford Thunderbird, Mustang, Explorer, Sport Trac and Expedition; the Lincoln Navigator, Aviator, LS and Town Car (available December) and the Mercury: Mountaineer.
PARAMOUNT, CALIF. — Savv introduced its first in-dash receiver, the DVH-S8030. The DVD/receiver offers MP3 capability and has a 40 watt x 4 amplifier. It also includes Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround decoding in a single chassis. The detachable unit has front-center and subwoofer line outputs and a line-level input. It is expected to ship at the end of the third quarter at a suggested retail of $549.
SECAUCUS, N.J. — Panasonic has teamed with Acura and Grammy-winning producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner to offer a new DVD-Audio sound system in the 2004 TL Acura. Acura said it is now the first vehicle manufacturer to offer DVD-Audio as standard equipment. The new ELS Surround system includes an in-dash radio incorporating a six-disc DVD-Audio/CD changer. It plays DVD-Audio discs, DTS CDs as well as standard CDs. It also has eight speakers including a center channel speaker and subwoofer. The speakers are similar in size and construction for better sound balance, said the company. Scheiner, who helped design the new system, is a five-time Grammy winner who has worked with artists including The Eagles, Steely Dan, REM, Faith Hill, Queen, Sting, Van Morrison and Grover Washington Jr.
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.