This may be the year the new plug and play style remote starters take off, winning as much as 20 to 30 percent of remote start sales, say retailers.
Plug and play remote starters have been available for the past two years but they were suited to only a small selection of cars. Now these cars– with a new CAN bus that is used in many push to start cars–are more widely available and the new remote starters are expected to take off.
The plug and play remote starters need only one module instead of two to provide both remote start and a direct connection to the car’s bus system for a simple installation. There are three key benefits of the starters.
For consumers, they get better integration into the car’s CAN bus for a more reliable remote starter. Also, drivers may use their factory key to remote start the car, instead of needing a separate bulky transmitter on their key chain.
For the dealer, it cuts down on installation time so he can perform more installs during the super busy season, which can directly boost his bottom line.
A quick poll of retailers say they expect about 10 to 30 percent of their remote start sales to be in the new plug and play style this season.
But not all dealers are jumping on the bandwagon. A leading consumer electronics chain with over 40 installing shops said it is not offering them yet, as it requires re-training for installers and the benefit to consumers is not obvious.
Smaller independents say the new starters also require training for salesmen. For example, if you remote start your car with the factory key, you only get the range offered by the factory which is often under 100 feet. So the customer may want to buy a separate transmitter or step-up to a remote-start-from-a-phone system with nearly unlimited range.
Mobile Solutions’ David Derrick says, “We think these RSR-style starters will open the door to more of the smartphone remote starters. You don’t have the extra remote. Everyone carries a phone so you use the OEM remote for short range and for long ranger, use the phone,” Derrick sees the plug and play type remote starters winning about 10 to 15 percent of his business this year.
Depot Auto Sound & Security, White Plains NY expects the segment to win 30 percent of its remote start business. “I think it’s a win win for everyone. The customer gets a better job that’s done quicker and there’s less chance of things going wrong because of the integration of the merchandise,” said President Harry Lichtman.
Cartronix of Valparaiso, IN says the segment could reach 35 percent of his sales this year. Westminster Speed & Sound, Westminster, MD believes it could reach 20 percent its remote start sales this season. California Custom Sounds Dayton, OH says the segment hit about 5 percent of its remote start sales by the end of last winter. This year it sees it reaching 15 to 20 percent.