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After surveying approximately 1,700 12-volt installers, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) released the results of a new study to determine which vehicles are the most after-market friendly.
Ford and Toyota topped the list of vehicles that readily enable the addition of after-market products. Approximately 66 percent of installers rated these vehicles as “easy” or “very easy” when it comes to performing installations, according to the CEA study, conducted along with The Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association.
Volkswagen and BMW were ranked as the least aftermarket-friendly vehicles (see chart).
The first-of-its-kind study is expected to become an annual benchmark of the “after-market friendliness” of U.S. cars, said CEA.
The study found that since the model year 2000, there has been a 16 percent increase in after-market unfriendliness.
Although not all car models received enough ratings to warrant statistical findings, those receiving at least 20 ratings were ranked as the most after-market friendly:
Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer
Dodge Durango/Jeep (Grand) Cherokee
Dodge Ram and like vehicles
The Honda Accord received the high rank because of a high number of relatively easy satellite radio installations. But this masks the fact that Accords (2003 and newer) pose many installation problems, CEA said. Accords from 2000 to 2002 model years required only a trim piece and wiring harness (less than $30), while 2003 and newer models require a dash replacement kit to maintain the integrated A/C heater controls, boosting the overall parts costs well over $200, according to the study. The same holds true for the Honda Civic, it said
The study also found that in more than eight of 10 installations, a special integration device was required, most commonly a dash-kit, wiring harness and/or antenna adaptor. Nearly a third of installations required specific electrical parts, most commonly needed to maintain the GM OnStar system when a radio is replaced. The average cost for all the OEM integration parts was $140 per installation.
In terms of the products most often installed, the study found that a complete after-market audio system ranked the highest, followed by satellite radio, upgrades to an OEM audio system, security system and video system (see chart).
Overall, installers rated 54 percent of all jobs as “easy” or “very easy.”
The Aftermarket CE Vehicle Installation Study was completed in September.Ease Of Installation In Vehicles
|Somewhat easy, somewhat difficult||35%||32||25||29||39||36||38||54||51|
|*The responses do not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.|
Source: CEA © TWICE 2005
|Upgrades to OEM|
|Video Enter. System||27%||30||24||18||27||25||35||26||18|
|Source: CEA © TWICE 2005|
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