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Cobra Readies Low-Cost Radar Detectors

7/31/2009 02:43:52 PM Eastern

Chicago - In light of the recession, Cobra
said it will develop a new line of radar detectors â€” one of Cobra's core
product segments â€” that will hit lower price points, in response to consumer
cutbacks in spending.

In addition, the
company will introduce new CB radios starting this October and will enter the
portable jumper cable market.

Cobra sales and
marketing VP Tony Mirabelli said during a conference call Friday with analysts
that the low-cost radar-detector line will be based on a new platform that will
afford Cobra significant margins, despite the reduced prices to end users. The
product might be introduced later this year and follows weak sales in radar
detectors for Cobra during the
second quarter, ended June 30.

The company is
also planning to release a limited edition Army Strong-themed CB radio for sale
in October, and it will ship a new CB with both Bluetooth hands-free calling and
weather alerts.

Mirabelli said
jumper cables are a natural fit for Cobra as many of its products are sold
through automotive stores.  But he said
non-automotive retailers are also interested in the cables as they are looking
to expand their product base. The cables are co-developed with a key Cobra
vendor in the Far East.

Cobra chairman and
CEO Jim Bazet said the fourth quarter "is likely to be a very promotional
period."

Cobra, which is in
more than 50,000 storefronts, said some retailers are facing slow store traffic
and are trimming inventory to the point of being out of stock.

But Bazel also
pointed to signs of recovery. Speaking of product shipping containers, he said,
"There used to be a six-month wait for containers and then that went down to no
wait. Now we're starting to see a two-week wait, which is a good sign." 

 

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