Southaven, Miss. – The Blaupunkt
car audio brand will be actively marketed in the U.S. again, this time under
the direction of startup importer/distributor American Audio Video.
The brand hasn’t been marketed in
the U.S. for about two years following Bosch’s late-2008 sale of Blaupunkt to
equity firm Aurelius Group of Germany, said Neil Willard, general manager of
Aurelius concentrated initially
on the OEM infotainment business after the purchase but later began rebuilding
aftermarket distribution through national importers and marketers in various
countries, Willard said.
The Blaupunkt brand never
completely disappeared in the U.S. because online retailers have been selling
off their existing inventories, he noted.
In the U.S., American will import
and market new Blaupunkt products to independent specialists through
independent reps, most of which have already been hired. The company will meet
with prospective dealers during International CES at a suite at the Venetian.
The brand will be positioned as a
value-added brand with high performance, German engineering, an
over-the-counter exchange program for products that have to be returned, and a
two-year warranty on products installed by authorized dealers, Willard said.
The initial lineup consists of
four single-DIN head units at a suggested $99 to $249, an in-dash navigation
system at $1,199, about 30 speaker SKUs ranging in price from $69/pair to $199/pair,
and six amps from $129 to $699. Some are bridgeable two-channel models, and
some are four-channel models bridgeable to three and two channels and to mono.
The company is also launching
visor-mounted Bluetooth hands-free speaker systems and headphones, which were
the first products made by Blaupunkt in 1923 before it was known as Blaupunkt.
American’s parent company is
Southaven-based American Music and Sound, which manufactures and distributes
pro audio equipment and musical instruments.
American Music and Sound is owned
by the principals who own Montreal-based Jam Industries, which makes and
markets the Bass Worx and Ultimate Audio car audio brands.
Blaupunkt’s national sales
manager is David Prall, who will be Atlanta-based and was employed by Blaupunkt
for 16 years before it was sold off. He was a regional manager.
Dealers interested in selling
Blaupunkt can reach Willard at 514-457-4847.