8 Reasons for Optimism on Car Audio in 2012

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As the economy improves, we see more reasons to be optimistic about car audio in 2012. We’re not predicting a 12-volt comeback, but here are 8 reasons for optimism:

Rockford Corp.—It stated recently it expects revenues to increase by 24 to 30 percent in the first quarter over the same period last year after, and income should increase even more.  And this follows a full year of growth in 2011.

Hushmat—“We’re up more this year than the past 3 years combined… The spike in gas has not slowed demand,” said founder Tim McCarthy.  Hushmat was up 40 percent in first quarter sales over last year.

Al & Ed’s Autosound—It just launched its first campaign in many years to expand its franchise store count beyond the current 18-locations.

Spring Break Nationals—The event had the highest attendance at the gate in the past 4 years.  General attendance by show-goers was up 30 percent over last year.

Car Toys –Business has “generally been very good for car audio” this year.  “CD is holding its own, premium head units are very strong while speakers, amps and subs are extremely strong, said Jim Warren SVP Merchandising of the 50+ store chain.

Alpine—“I can tell you we’re pretty optimistic about 2012 based on the way the market is stabilizing…We’re pretty optimistic about where we’ll be a year from now,” said Steve Crawford, VP and GM.

Boss Audio—Said it had the best February in the 25 year history of the company.

Clarion—It’s up in orders over 2011 so far this year.

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  1. The ebb and flow of improved sales should not.. cannot.. be an excuse to ignore the core reasons for the decline in our industry. We continue to be awash in unprofessional shops and untrained personnel. An improving economy will and the opportunities that come with it will be for naught if we do not deliver the experience that our consumer wants. The opportunity is there. Where are we?

  2. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic this year – but it won’t come easy or for free. Dealers have to work harder than ever to convert the connected customer and sell them on the services of the specialty retailer. Suppliers need to outperform their competitors every day in order to earn the business of each of their dealers. And we all must strive to be relevant to consumers completely awash in technology and information. Let’s not let a few decent months soften us up – the wolf is always at the door!

    Innovate or Die.

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