By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Sales of in-dash A/V navigation head units (known as AVN) rose significantly this June over June 2006 according to The NPD Group, which found the category jumped 50 percent in units and 14 percent in dollars at retail.
Market leader Pioneer estimates suppliers will sell 200,000 AVN units this year to consumers. The company said its sales soared 60 percent in AVN for the April-July quarter compared to the same period last year. "We anticipate that growth if not more for next year," said Ed Sachs, president of the mobile entertainment group.
Kenwood said it also seeing current growth in the range of the numbers put forth by NPD, but it and others predict more modest gains for the industry as a whole this year. Eclipse and Panasonic said they expect AVN industry growth in the range of 14 percent or 15 percent in units and a few percent in dollars.
Alpine said its AVN business is expected to grow by 10 percent this year in units and few percentage points in dollars.
The market was spurred earlier this year when Pioneer lowered the ground price of AVN by $400 when it launched the AVIC-D3 at $1,000. That unit has been in frequent backorder although Pioneer said it hopes to catch up with demand in the next couple of months.
Kenwood has also recently made inroads in the market with the DNX7100 at a suggested $1,400, which many 12-volt specialists are pushing as a step-up alternative to the Pioneer D3 as the Kenwood model adds multitasking, or the ability to play a CD or DVD while navigating. It also commands about a 35-point margin for retailers, they said, which, at about $500, is a welcome profit center. Kenwood is also in back order on the 7100 but hopes to catch up with demand this month.
Also in navigation, this month, Alpine began shipping the portable B200 personal navigation device (PND), which docks directly inside the current Alpine IVA-W205 in-dash video head unit and then sends the navigation image to the W205's larger 6.5-inch screen.
Eclipse said it is in the process of setting up endcap displays at Circuit City for its AVN2210P in-dash CD receiver that docks with a TomTom PND.
Navigation is gradually taking the place of higher end in-dash video because as prices drop, AVN has become a small, $200 step-up sale. Said Robert Lopez, Panasonic mobile entertainment director, "For a few extra dollars" customers easily step up to navigation. It has converted a lot of A/V customers to AVN customers." He said Panasonic expects to broaden its new Strada AVN line next year.
Retailers such as Car Toys, Crutchfield and Al & Ed's also reported solid gains in in-dash AVN, with Car Toys claiming "substantial double-digit gains" in the segment, according to Dan Jeancola, merchandising senior VP.
Suppliers said they do not expect significant price erosion in the category this year or early next year as offshore suppliers have yet to gain share in the AVN market.
|Item Description||Dollar Volume Share Jun 07||Avg. Price Jun 07|
|1. Pioneer AVIC-D||46||$932|
|2. Pioneer AVIC-Z2||16||$1,964|
|3. Kenwood DNX-7100||15||$1,312|
|4. Pioneer AVIC-N3||6||$1,252|
|5. Pioneer AVIC-Z1||3||$1,647|
|Item Description||Dollar Volume Share Jun 06||Avg. Price Jun 06|
|1. Pioneer AVIC-Z1||24||$2,109|
|2. Pioneer AVIC-N3||19||$1,694|
|3. Eclipse AVN5435||18||$1,388|
|4. Pioneer AVICN2||9||$905|
|5. Pioneer AVIC-D2||8||$1,399|
|Source: The NPD Group © TWICE 2007|
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