Starting your car from a phone is gaining momentum and industry members believe remote-start-from-a-phone products could reach 10 percent or more of remote start sales this season by dollar volume.
Approximately 350,000 remote starters sell each year in the aftermarket according to an estimate by a reliable source.
Audiovox Electronics President Tom Malone believes that remote start from a phone could reach 30 percent of the market in a few years, as the hardware cost comes down.
Directed VP Product Planning James Turner said of its SmartStart, “We do believe it’s going to be the fastest growing category we have.”
He added that within a few years almost everyone will have a smartphone. “It’s the hub of a person’s life. They use it for everything from work to social network media. If you have everything tied to the phone you are going to want to use it” in many situations.
Audiovox said the share of remote-start-from-a-phone may even exceed 10 percent of remote start sales this year. Auto Page is a bit more cautious. “I would like to think that 10 percent is attainable. It will depend on the weather. If remote start sales in general are down, then I believe the 10% figure is definitely in the ballpark. If the winter is cold and snowy then I think the remote starter sales will be much higher but the cell phone applications may not reach 10 percent,” said Mike Northup, Auto Page President.
The weather this winter is expected to be snowy in January and February in the Northeast and mid-Atlanti , but milder in some of the Northern Midwest states.
Despite the weather, Compustar (Firstech) believes there’s pent-up demand in the market, just as in the new car market. “Obviously, this category is driven by the weather and all of us are hoping for a cold winter. What makes this season really unique is there is some pent up demand. We’ve seen that with rising car sales, so we expect a pretty robust remote start season,” said Firstech Director of Sales and Marketing Jason Kaminski.