The General Motors and Chevy trademarks will appear on CB radios for the first time under a licensing agreement between GM and Cobra. In what Cobra marketing VP John Pohl believes is the first deal of its kind between an automaker and a CB supplier, the "GM by Cobra" logo will appear on four CBs, and the "Chevy by Cobra" logo will appear on two models, all of which were to be displayed at Winter CES. The deal will enable Cobra to "capitalize on the loyalty of the automotive brands," he said. Although MRI Mediamark research showed a 15% increase in 1994 dollar sales of CBs at retail to $120 million, and Cobra cites continued growth in 1995, Pohl said the deal will spark "additional excitement" in the growth category and help the company expand market share, in part by tapping new distribution channels.
For Cobra, the new channels will include the parts departments of car dealers, recreational-vehicle conversion shops, truck specialty shops, and catalogs directed to GM owners. Pohl also expects the products, due to ship in March or April, to expand Cobra's share within the company's existing channels, which include autoparts stores, general-merchandise chains, national electronics chains, truck stops, catalog showrooms, and other catalogers. Although Cobra didn't expect the automaker to be interested in licensing out its name for use on radar detectors, Pohl said GM was interested in discussing a licensing arrangement for Cobra's planned safety-radar receivers, which won't warn of police speed-monitoring radar.
Pohl noted that the co-branded products will be wholesale-priced from 5% to 10% over similar models currently marketed under the Cobra name. The GM and Chevy lines will feature an emergency-type CB and a mobile with all electronics in the handset. The Chevy line will also feature a top-end pro mobile and a smaller mobile. The CB market is growing for several reasons, Pohl said, including use as a cheap alternative to cellular for emergency use. Some CB owners, he noted, were former cellular owners who dropped service because of high monthly phone bills.
Audiovox Goes Home, Adds Mobile
Audiovox made the jump from car stereo to cellular in the mid 1980s, and 10 years later, it's making the jump to the portable and home audio markets with the WCES introduction of a line called Turn Ons by the company's new consumer electronics division. New mobile products are also planned for a CES introduction. Topping out the Turn Ons line is the CE-402, a midi-size home system with three-disc CD changer, remote, programmable 32-track CD memory, 20 AM/FM presets, and dual cassette. The single-cassette version is the CE-401.
Other audio products include: The CE-301 micro system with single cassette and single CD; the two-CD CE-203 boombox with cassette; and the CE-202 dual-cassette CD boombox with top-loading CD player and programmable 21-track memory -- the single-cassette version is the CE-201; the CE-101 portable CD player; and the CE-002 portable AM/FM/cassette player/recorder.
In the Prestige car audio line, products will include:
* A 400-watt bridgeable amplifier.
* A 6-inch two-way component speaker system with 100-watt maximum power.
* A 5.25-inch two-way component system with 80 watts of power.
* And 10-disc CD changer.
Audiovox will also offer a detachable-face autoreverse ETR head; a detachable autoreverse ETR/cassette with changer controls and Dolby; and a detachable ETR/cassette with changer controls and built-in four-channel amplifier.