Alpine Electronics confirmed it will start selling its Restyle line of navigation/radios for trucks and SUVs through Amazon starting in late February.
Alpine noted that 30 percent of consumers purchase accessories for trucks online (according to SEMA statistics) and the company can no longer ignore this sizeable segment of the market.
A letter to its dealers said that “after much internal discussion, we have formed a business relationship with Amazon whereby they will begin offering our Restyle products on their website beginning late February 2016.”
The products will be displayed in Amazon’s Car Audio section and in its vehicle accessory sections.
Other Alpine products will not be sold on Amazon. And Amazon will sell Restyle products at MAP (Minimum Advertised Price). Alpine promised it will “remain as vigilant as ever in policing the internet and taking appropriate action against people who choose to sell these products to unauthorized sources.”
Decades ago, Alpine was arguably the first company to target its products to car audio specialists. It said it did not make the decision to sell through Amazon lightly.
The company noted it has made significant distribution moves in the past that were controversial but did not disrupt the specialists’ business.
It stressed that a key goal of the move to Amazon is to build awareness for the Restyle products, which would, in turn, benefit specialists.
Alpine launched the Restyle line at CES in 2014. The Restyle navigation/radios are unique in that they have supersized 9- and 10-inchs screens. They are customized for specific trucks and SUVs.