FLO TV Sales: First Report

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Audiovox’s FLO TV for the car–the $399 tuner that delivers 20 channels of video on the road–is off to a better start at car electronics retailers than at expeditors (who sell to car dealers) and who received the product two months prior.
FLO TV is one of the most adventurous car products since the AT&T Cruisecast which failed last year, in that it’s attempting to create a mid-tier live TV system for the car. Retailers are reporting mixed results in sales of the product so far, ranging from zero to 80 units; but many hope FLO TV will gain traction.
The early verdict in sales according to Audiovox is that retail sales are above expectations after six weeks on the market and expeditors sales are slightly below expectations after about three months. Retailers are quickly approaching the same sales rate of expeditors, said Audiovox Electronics president Tom Malone. The problems at expeditors are what you’d expect—slow car sales and glitches with financing. Consumers are having trouble financing anything above and beyond the price of the car, said Malone.
Retailers/expeditors we spoke to are not quite ready to judge the product’s success, but initial sales vary greatly. Installations Unlimited, which sells to around 100 car dealers in NY and NJ sold 80 FLO TV units to date. Greg Boylan of the outfit says “We have received very good feedback on these units.” Al & Ed’s Autosound with about 20 stores in Los Angeles has sold a couple dozen and Custom Sounds with 16 stores in Austin, TX says “FLO is slow,” according to president Mike Cofield.
Discount Autosound, Virginia Beach, VA has sold 28 units since March in three stores. The chain is located near military bases so its customers do a lot of traveling and they “want to take their TV with them,” said sales manager Chris Edwards. Several retailers said they stocked only one or two units initially and some have sold one or none.
FLO TV is currently sold at about 700 retail storefronts. It should be available in 2,500 retailers by the end of the year, said Malone. The tuner system gets you live TV service from channels including ABC, Disney, ESPN, FOX News, CBS Mobile, and Nickelodeon. It must be added to a car TV and the service is $119 a year on a current special. Some retailers bundle the tuner with a year’s service plus installation so the price may be advertised at $600 to $700.
On the expeditor side about 2,500 car dealers carry the product out of a possible 12,000 within FLO TV’s coverage area (in more than 100 markets reaching 200 million people).
Audiovox’s pitch: “For retailers, this is a new category that can replace some of their faltering sales,” said Malone.
Source: CEoutlook

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1 Comment

  1. We are the largest volume Mercedes-Benz dealership in the Midwest, 5th in the country, #1 volume dealer for Porsche in Ohio, and Saab nationwide, and I can tell you this, customers are the number 1 priority, and when something like this or the CruiseCast comes and goes, you are left with a customer that will not return, even for vehicle service. I went through 2 GPS companies already, and this should be promoted as a risk which everyone should be made aware of so as not to ruin a client relationship.

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