Car audio dealers have always built their own kits or products to some degree but here are a couple of dealers whose adventures in importing and manufacturing might be of interest.
Perzan Auto Radio, Upper Darby, PA is both a dealer and distributor and a bit of a supplier. It is now importing its own blind spot detection system at a pretty low price of $239 retail. The product is built in China and “tweaked” at the store. It puts a sensor on each side of the rear bumper with an orange LED that mounts on the A-pillar by the windshield to light up when there’s a car in the driver’s blind spot.
The product is sold under the label Mr Canbus. The store sells a dozen a month to customers and has moved hundreds since it started importing them about a year and a half ago. It is working on a CAN Bus module and a GPS module that will allow you to add audible alerts selectively at higher speeds to cut down on needless warnings.
There are no top tier brands offering aftermarket blind spot detectors in the U.S., (but newcomer Goshers offers a model).
Erik Wasserstein of Perzan says, “I work a lot on high line cars and I see people every day who walk into a Mercedes dealer to lease a C-Class and they want the blind spot detection in the S-Classes. But Mercedes doesn’t have it. So [with our product] a dealer and expediter is in a great position to buy a blind spot at a great price.” He added, of the car audio market, “If you are just going to sell [Brand ABC] navigation, you are not going to make it.”
Mr Canbus also sells dash kits, backup cameras and steering wheel controllers. Wasserstein says the company tests the products in dozens of installs before offering it for wholesale and it provides 6-day a week installer support.
Another East Coast retailer, Hurley’s Auto Audio, McLean, VA also imports its own blind spot detectors as well as headrest monitors, back up cameras, and sensors at much lower prices than through a U.S. supplier. Owner Gary Woodward said the store recently began making its own dash kits using a 3D printer. Woodward said the printer cost him $2,000. He scans the front of the radio with a David 3D laser scanner, and then prints his own kit. “It’s going to cost me maybe a dollar more per kit but it helps with just-in-time inventory. I’m not going to put $30,000 on the shelf and 10 percent of that is slow or dead inventory,” he said.