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Rockford Picks Up Blaupunkt Distribution


Rockford has picked up
North American distribution rights to the
Blaupunkt brand of car audio/video and
headphone products.

In the U.S, the company expects the headphones
and car products to be available late
in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter.

Rockford will also team up with Blaupunkt
to offer OEM equipment to automakers globally.

In the U.S. aftermarket, Rockford will sell
the brand’s line through a “traditional distribution
model” to reach a broad base of small
retailers, said Theresa Hephner, Rockford’s
product development and marketing senior

“Strategically, to some degree, it is a channel
strategy,” Hephner said of the U.S. distribution
plan. “Going through distributors
gives retailers access to a high-quality, wellknown

Rockford will choose a limited number of
distributors in the U.S., and the distributors
will sell into retailers approved by Rockford,
she said.
For Rockford, the Blaupunkt brand will be
the company’s first car audio line with a full
range of components from heads to amps
and speakers. The company’s other brands
focus on products other than head units. The
brands include Rockford Fosgate, Brax, Helix,
Lightning Audio and Renegade.

For his part, Blaupunkt CEO/managing director
Lars Placke said Rockford will help the
company reestablish its North American aftermarket
distribution while the OEM partnership
will let the two companies synchronize
sales teams and combine technology platforms,
engineering capabilities, and production
facilities so “we will be able to serve our
OE customers even better.”

“By leveraging each party’s respective regional strengths, product portfolios, and support
structures, the companies plan to offer global
solutions on product areas such as radios, navigation,
amplifiers, loudspeakers, rear-seat entertainment,
and connectivity for both automotive
and commercial vehicle platforms,” the companies

Rockford is taking over North American distribution
from startup importer/distributor American
Audio Video, based in Southaven, Miss. The
company announced plans late last year to bring
Blaupunkt back to the U.S. after an absence of
about two years.

The absence followed the late 2008 sale of
Blaupunkt by owner Bosch to equity firm Aurelius
Group of Germany.

Aurelius concentrated initially on the OEM
infotainment business after the purchase but
later began rebuilding aftermarket distribution
through national importers and marketers in various

Blaupunkt started in the early 1920s with the
launch of headphones. The company is based in
Hildesheim, Germany, and has manufacturing facilities
in Malaysia and China.