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12-Volt Initiative Plans New Direction

– The 12-Volt Initiative, formed in 2008 to raise awareness of the car
electronics aftermarket, said it will reinvent itself and develop a “new business
model for a category marketing campaign” following the launch last year of a
viral Internet video campaign that drew mixed reviews from industry members.

“We learned from 2009’s viral Internet
campaign that committed industry companies and stakeholders can work together
for the common good of the industry,” said Steve Witt, executive VP of Dice
Electronics and a member of the Initiative’s working group. The group was “pleased
with overall performance, especially as proof of concept,” but the campaign also
“generated a great deal of feedback from the 12-volt industry,” he said. “We’ll
be using this valuable input on the Initiative’s new strategy”

working group also said it is “actively seeking support from a broader group of
businesses that have a stake in the aftermarket industry.” The group’s members
consist of representatives from Alpine, Clarion, Dice, Pioneer and Sony.

“With the difficult economic conditions
we are facing,” said Larry Rougas, marketing and product planning VP of Pioneer,
“we need to band together as an industry and make it easier for 12-volt
manufacturers, retailers and other interested parties to participate with the initiative
in the development and implementation of the next phase” 

The Initiative also announced a change
in management structure, with Steve Witt no longer serving as acting chair or
Pioneer’s Larry Rougas serving as vice chair. The two have rejoined the interim
working group as equal members.

The group has been working to determine
“the most viable business model for a category marketing campaign,” and its
next step is to issue a request for proposal to a variety of marketing/PR companies
to develop a strategy for the next campaign, the group said.

Elements of the strategy will be
implemented by participating members in their own PR campaigns to make certain
a similar message is communicated to the end consumer, the group noted.

The Initiative also said it is looking
for management companies that specialize in non-profit organizations for
additional support.