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Some Positive Signs Emerge In Car Electronics Aftermarket

ARLINGTON, Va. – It has been tough out there for years in the car electronics aftermarket, but some segments are showing glimmers of hope, Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) factory-level statistics show.

For one thing, it looks like the implosion of portable navigation device (PND) sales — at least in dollars — has abated even though unit sales keep on falling. And at least one industry segment — rearview cameras — is posting dollar growth. Connected-PND sales are also on a slight unit-sales upturn.

The combined autosound and mobile-video segments are forecast to post low-single-digit dollar declines in 2014 and 2015, with mobile video posting higher rates of decline. Within the video segment, indash fixed navigation head units will post double-digit percentage declines in units in 2014 and 2015, with dollar declines limited to the high single-digit range.

Here are CEA’s most recent forecasts:

Aftermarket autosound/mobile video: Combined dollar sales will slide 5.7 percent in 2014 to $1.41 billion and by another 4.8 percent in 2015 to $1.34 billion. Within the combined segments, autosound sales will drop 3.3 percent in 2014 to $1.05 billion and 4 percent in 2015 to $1 billion.

Mobile-video sales, including in-dash multimedia-receivers and in-dash navigation, will drop 11.9 percent to $363 million in 2014 and by7.2 percent in 2014 to $337 million.

Within the mobile video segment, sales of rearview cameras will rise 16 percent in 2014 to $62 million and another 14 percent in 2015 to $70 million, CEA forecast. Unit sales are rising even faster, expected to grow 20 percent in 2014 and in 2015 to 480,000 and 576,000 units, respectively.

All other segments in mobile video will fall at doubledigit percentage rates in dollars in 2014 and 2015, including multimedia receivers, but fixed-navigation dollar sales will fall at mid-single-digit rates in both years. Fixed-navigation sales in 2014 are expected to contract 7 percent to $104 million and by 6 percent in 2015 to $98 million. In units, fixed-nav sales will drop only 1 percent and 4 percent, respectively, to 183,000 and 176,000.

Aftermarket information/security: Within this segment, dollar sales of portable and transportable navigation devices will remain essentially flat in 2014 and 2015 following a 24.3 percent drop in 2013 to $706 million and a steeper 2012 slide of 30.5 percent to $933 million. Sales in 2014 are forecast to reach $708 million, rising to $710 million in 2015.

The dollar stabilization is coming despite doubledigit percentage declines in units in 2014 and 2015, attributable to average wholesale prices rising 18 percent in 2014 and 14 percent in 2015, CEA forecasts. Unit sales will decline 15 percent in 2014 to 6.18 million and by 12 percent in 2015 to 5.44 million. Average wholesale prices, however, will rise 18 percent in 2014 to $115 and by 14 percent in 2015 to $131.

Also in the information/security segment, aftermarket vehicle security and remote-start sales will continue to slide at around 5 percent in 2014 as they have for the past several years. Sales will fall 5 percent in 2014 to $190 million and 6.3 percent in 2015 to $178 million.