At the Connect2Car seminar at CES, Chris Cook, President of the Mobile Electronics Retailers Assn. (MERA) called on the car makers to build an upgrade path for car radios.
He asked car makers to provide an integration path for the aftermarket so that outdated car radios may be replaced.
Second and third-time car owners are often stuck with obsolete car radios that only serve to diminish the car maker’s brand, he said, adding, “It would be helpful for a car maker to provide a seamless experience for upgrading.”
In the 2-part panel at CES, Cook asked panelist Tony Cooprider, Senior Technical Leader at Ford, “How many aftermarket products work with the Ford Sync? It was introduced, when; around 2007, 2008? Can we find a solution to do that?” he said, prodding Ford to permit easier integration with the aftermarket.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get an answer.
After the seminar, Cook also called for an open forum where car makers may meet with car audio suppliers and retailers. He said that he is investigating offering such a forum with the help of SEMA at the KnowledgeFest trade gathering this summer.
Cook told a packed room of attendees that “Automakers + Aftermarket= Happy Customers.”
“Automakers still design without a consideration for replacement of consumer electronics technology during the lifecycle of the vehicle. The aftermarket still must overcome the challenges to integrate consumer electronics.”
Photo caption: Chris Cook standing at podium at CES panel joined by Nick Pudar of OnStar, Jake Sigal of Livio and John Waraniak of SEMA (L to R)