San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Car security sales are slightly up or holding steady, due to the growing popularity of remote starters.
As consumer awareness of remote starters continues to gain, sales for the niche are expected to reach an estimated 8 percent to 18 percent of the security aftermarket this year, according to suppliers. Remote starters could account for 30 percent to 35 percent of security sales in as early as two years, said Audiovox senior VP mobile electronics group Tom Malone, or as late as four to five years, according to Bulldog Securities CEO Don Rich.
For the total aftermarket in security, sales are expected to hover at $330 million wholesale this year, suppliers said.
The rise in remote starters is particularly welcome as traditional security systems are waning because more and more cars ship with keyless entry systems, suppliers said.
"Dealers had a core base of security customers, and now that is starting to decrease," Malone explained. "Now dealers have to make that up. So now even dealers in [warm states such as] Virginia or North Carolina need the business and are truly presenting remote starters, and the consumer is responding," he noted.
DEI agrees that remote starters are becoming more of a year-round business and claims that dealers are expecting 20 percent to 30 percent growth this year in the segment.
One of the new remote starters expected to ship early next year is from Bulldog Securities, which claims it will offer a combination model with a full five-mile range under the Magnum sub-brand. Until now, the high range for remote starters was approximately 1,200 feet. It will include a receiver to confirm via vibration and LED if the car has started, or to alert the owner of a break-in. The security system will offer eight levels of protection, and Bulldog CEO Don Rich claims the alarm will be "easier to install than any dealer-installed alarm out there. We'll be the first with five-mile range, the first with eight-level protection and the first with simple installation." The new Magnum unit is expected to ship to a select group of installers in January at a suggested retail price of $499 installed, said Rich.
Accelle Electronics announced it has begun shipping a new combination pager/remote start security system, model AS803. The two-way system pages the owner to confirm functions such as car starting and sends both an audio and visual LCD confirmation. The system has a 1,000 foot range. Suggested retail price for the AS803 is approximately $225 to $250.