By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York — Maserati and Bowers & Wilkins are bringing their Seven Notes World Tour to the U.S. to showcase their flagship products, including the car manufacturer's first model to feature an integrated Bowers & Wilkins car audio system.
The car, the Maserati Quattroporte, is Maserati’s flagship, which will be available in the spring.
The tour comes to Los Angeles on June 6 and to New York on June 13. The tour already hit Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Beijing and Shanghai, China; and Tokyo and will reach London on July 17.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Long Beach, Calif. – Greater differentiation between the Kenwood and JVC car electronics lines, a refocusing of the JVC marketing department on supporting sell-in and sell-though, and other select changes are on the horizon now that Kenwood’s Keith Lehmann has taken on the additional role of senior VP at JVC Mobile Entertainment.
At JVC, Lehmann is taking charge of JVC Mobile sales, marketing and business strategy. At Kenwood, whose car electronics sales exceed JVC’s, Lehmann’s title changes to executive VP of consumer electronics from senior VP.
Tokyo – Panasonic indicated Wednesday that it continues to reduce labor costs in an effort to return the company to profitability, this time in the automotive and industrial division.
Yoshihiko Yamada, who heads the division, reportedly told analysts and investors during a presentation here that it will reduce staff over the next three years with approximately 5,000 employees facing the axe, according to Reuters.
Cypress, Calif. – Clarion has opened a new office in Silicon Valley as part of a plan to work more closely with software and app companies.
Clarion’s new office is located in Santa Clara, Calif. near Google and Apple’s main campuses.
The new building will accommodate personnel from Clarion’s advanced engineering group and staffers from the marketing group.
Clearwater, Fla. — iSimple, a division of Aamp of America, took the wraps off a pair of vehicle accessories today and will have the devices on display during CTIA 2013, held in Las Vegas next week.
The BluStream car kit (model ISBT52) is designed to be used with any car featuring a 3.5mm jack. The plug-in device enables in-car Bluetooth and connects to most car radios, the company said. Suggested retail is $59.95.
Features include an echo-canceling microphone, a Call/Play button, A2DP streaming, USB power port for charging. It’s currently available.
Oxnard, Calif. — Scosche Industries introduced its first motorcycle accessories, the HD7000B stereo installation kit and SAHD656 speaker adapters Harley Davidsons.
The HD7000B aftermarket kit, which will accommodate ISO side mounting, mounts into the factory location using OEM hardware. Features include a plastic front panel, stainless-steel mounting screws, and the company’s Custom Fit install design. Suggested retail is $79.99 suggested retail.
Liberty, Texas — Cimble announced a Basic version of its SecureConnex in-car telematics system.
The SecureConnex device, which must be professionally installed, allows consumers to monitor and track their vehicles with their iOS or Android smartphones. It is designed for 2008 and newer vehicles.
Southfield, Mich. — Parrot has expanded the selection of apps for its Asteroid series of Android-based in-car entertainment systems.
The seven new apps include Facebook for Asteroid, a media-player application and an email application, bringing the app selection to 17. Other apps previously available include GPS navigation, traffic data, TuneIn online radio and Spotify.
Port Washington, N.Y. – Retail-level aftermarket sales of car multimedia and car video products surged in the first quarter, The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service found.
However, the increase was not enough to keep the car electronics aftermarket from getting off to a rough start for the year.
Excluding portable navigation devices (PNDs), total sales of aftermarket car audio and video fell 9 percent from the year-ago quarter to $372.1 million, NPD found.
Chicago — Cobra Electronics cited lower store traffic and higher-than-expected legal expenses for its lower sales and loss for the company’s first quarter.
For the quarter, ended March 31, Cobra posted net loss of $1.5 million on sales of $21.6 million. This is down from the $339,000 profit on sales of $26.4 million generated during the same period last year.
The legal expenses were related to patent legal claims, the company said.