VOXX (formerly Audiovox) is gradually discontinuing its line of Advent OE Fit radios that are styled to custom match different car models. The niche category, once seen as a future growth area for car audio, has experienced a sales decline in the past year.
Rosen, too, Audiovox’s main competitor in factory-style radios, has scaled back its offering.
VOXX Electronics President Tom Malone confirmed Tuesday that the company is phasing out its OE Fit line over the next year and is focusing instead on interface devices that do not replace a factory radio, but add features to it.
For several years, the factory look-alike radio grew in popularity. It let owners of older cars swap out their radio to get new features like Bluetooth and smartphone control while still keeping a factory look because the radio was designed to perfectly match their car.
Sales hit a wall, however, late last year, as many of the new cars shipped with higher tech radios with LCD screens, Bluetooth and smartphone control.
Said Rosen’s Steve Weimar, in the past, “people wanted to add a large display screen, Bluetooth and iPod control. Now car companies are doing that.”
Until 2012 only 20 to 30 percent of cars came with an LCD screen. That figure jumped to 40 percent in 2013 and is heading to 80 percent by 2020, according to Strategy Analytics.
To respond to the trend, both VOXX and Rosen have switched their focus to selling interfaces that add navigation or a backup camera to an existing radio, without replacing it. This segment is continuing to grow, said Rosen’s Steve Weimar.