Car speakers and amplifier sales to consumers were up in the first quarter indicating again, that people still want great sound in their cars.
According to the NPD Group, car amplifiers sales for January, February and March were up 8 percent in units over the same period in 2012. Measured in dollars, sales rose 5 percent for the period.
Car speaker sales rose one percent in units and 4 percent in dollars for Q1 compared to a year ago.
Even in-dash head units excluding navigation decks rose in units by one percent this year, but in dollars sales fell 8 percent.
The biggest drag on sales early this year was in in-dash navigation/radios which fell by 22 percent in dollars as consumers increasingly use smartphone apps to navigate.
Again, NPD Director of Industry Analysis Ben Arnold said people are bringing their own phones and tablets into the car. “Devices that enable you to get to that content or make that content sound better is where we’re seeing the growth.”
In total (excluding portable navigation) car aftermarket audio/video/navigation sales fell 6 percent in units and 9 percent in dollars in Q1, due to the shift away from in-dash navigation.
It should be noted that NPD data may more accurately reflect sales at the larger and mid-sized retail chains.