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Rockford Merging Sales Of 3 Home Audio Brands

5/05/2003 02:00:00 AM Eastern

NHT will take over sales of Fosgate Audionics and MB Quart home audio products on May 1, but the three brands' engineering and technical support departments will remain separate, said NHT national sales manager John Johnsen. NHT will also provide marketing consultation to the two brands.

Johnsen will become national sales manager for all three brands, which are part of Tempe, Ariz.-based Rockford Corp. Late last year, Rockford purchased NHT from Recoton, which was selling off assets in an unsuccessful attempt to stave off liquidation.

The three brands, part of the newly created Rockford Home Group, have product positions that don't overlap, Johnsen said. The brands already share many of the same reps, which will now have a single point of contact for three brands, he added.

As part of the changes, NHT will apply its simplified sales programs to Fosgate Audionics and MB Quart, Johnsen said. The program eschews load-in programs, volume rebates and the like "because dealers need predictable margins," Johnsen explained.

The Fosgate Audionics line consists of two SKUs so far: a $2,995 preamp/processor with Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES decoding and a $2,795 five-channel amp, which can be upgraded to six- or seven-channel operation by swapping out mono amp modules for stereo amp modules.

MB Quart, Johnsen admitted, "has no significant identity in the home," but in mid-to-late fall, it will launch a series of wood-finish speakers positioned as the Mercedes Benz of speakers. A 5.1 system built from the Quart speakers will range in price from $13,000 to $15,000, he said.