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Autosound Fails To Revive Sales In Audio Market

Factory-level audio sales slid 0.6% in March to $632 million and 2.8% in the first quarter to $1.6 billion despite an energized 12-volt market that soared at double-digit rates during both periods, CEMA statistics show.

All other broad-based audio categories were down for the month and year.

In March, aftermarket autosound sales surged 19.3% to $233 million, helping lift first-quarter sales by 16.1% to $537 million.

Sales of home audio systems (rack, shelf and electronics/speaker home theater packages) fell 3.4% for the month to $142 million and 5.6% for the year to $358 million. First-quarter sales of compact systems were flat at $282 million, CEMA said.

Portable audio sales were off at double-digit rates for the month and quarter, with March sales sliding 11.8% to $147 million, and first-quarter sales dropping 15.5% to $386 million.

Home component sales slid the most in March, when sales fell 13.1% to $110 million, in turn helping drag down the quarter’s sales by 8.2% to $315 million.

Total home audio sales (components and systems combined) were off 7.9% for the month to $252 million and off 6.8% for the quarter to $674 million.

CEMA statistics not released officially show the portable decline continuing through April, with dollar sales falling 18% for the January-April period and unit sales falling at a single-digit rate.

Portable categories that grew in units and dollars during the four-month period were headphone CD and CD clock radios. Three-piece CD boomboxes were down about 30% in dollars during the period, with sales of one-piece CD boomboxes down more than 10% in dollars.