How did the combined mobile audio, mobile- A/V, and navigation aftermarket fare in 2011 at the retail level in unit and dollar volume? And what is the outlook for 2012?
Larry Rougas, Pioneer:
We are very pleased with our overall sales performance in all categories this year. Even with the tough economic conditions we faced in 2011, we showed growth in all categories with multimedia (AV) leading the growth curve. We are anticipating similar trends in 2012 and strongly believe that mobile- A/V (Pioneer’s AVH lineup) will continue to be our top performer.
Keith Lehmann, Kenwood:
We saw in-dash navigation as more challenged in 2011 in dollars due to the availability of cheaper product in the market plus the increased penetration of smartphones with navigation capabilities. In-dash CD held steady in dollars with Bluetooth models performing very well. Multimedia sales were stronger than last year due to lower price points.
Tom Malone, Audiovox:
While the overall retail environment for mobile electronics did improve in 2011, the gains were modest at best as worldwide economic problems, product shortages as a result of the tsunami in Japan, and increased competition from the OEs continued to put pressure on aftermarket retail products. On average, our own sales throughout the category were essentially flat with 2010. Jensen is our value line, and even there we felt consumer pressure to have the latest and greatest technology but at increasingly lower retails.
For 2012 we expect more of the same from the consumer and a general increase in sales as the economy continues its slow improvement. We intend to meet consumer demand with a brand new line up at CES that includes dramatically increased resolution in our RSE video screens, robust new UI on the full Jensen line, as well as a host of new multimedia features for those models.
Mike Anderson, Alpine:
The mobile business has stabilized and has actually shown growth since summer 2010. We are very optimistic about 2012 and are planning for growth.
Sanjay Sharma, Boston Acoustics:
Overall units and dollars were up for both the speaker and amp category, but the business is still challenged by the economy, especially since these products are not necessity items. We found some months to be below expectation and drove sales by being promotional at the dealer level. We expect 2012 to be similar.