If your eyes glaze over at the term “driver safety” then hear this: there IS growth in retail car electronics and it’s in safety systems and integration.
“All of you will be selling within the next 24 months driver assistance. There is going to be [and is already] lane departure warning systems you can sell. Collision avoidance is coming as an aftermarket product. You’re going to have a lot of new products to sell,” Steve Witt of DICE Electronics said in a KnowledgeFest keynote Monday.
Out of all the multimedia electronics items consumers can buy for their cars, blind spot detection and back up assist are top items that consumers want according to a recent J.D. Power study of over 50,000 households.
Integration and safety products are going to grow as a retail category to about $1.5 billion by 2011 from only $1/2 billion in 2006. Traditional car electronics will fall to $1 billion in the same time period from about $1.5 billion.
Witt reminded the audience that safety should be on every retailer’s mind. Three retailers have lost their stores in the past two years because of illegally tampering with safety systems in the car. One retailer lost his home and one went to jail for killing a family of 5.
“Do not remove safety equipment. Don’t take air bags out of the car to mount an LCD monitor. Don’t bypass your manufacturer’s safety interlocks on head units,” cautioned Witt.