Pioneer: Car Audio Will Gain From Sell Off of Home and DJ Equipment

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Pioneer's Russ Johnston

Pioneer said it will have the ability to invest more heavily in car audio, now that it is spinning off its home audio and DJ businesses.

“We are focusing all of our strategies on growing the automotive business; not only aftermarket but also OEM,” said Pioneer Executive VP Sales, Marketing and Product Planning Russ Johnston.

Last week Pioneer announced it sold its DJ equipment business to a private equity firm KKR & Co for $550 million, just a few days after announcing it sold its home audio business to Onkyo, while taking an approximate 15 percent stake in Onkyo.

Although the DJ business was growing, it required investment for continued expansion., which KKR will provide. Pioneer, however, will still make the DJ equipment for the company that has been renamed Pioneer DJ.   Under the Onkyo deal, Pioneer and Onkyo now share in providing resources to grow the home audio business.

“We know that the home AV business has been declining at about 5 percent. We have to work harder in that space for growth….by joining forces we have the resources to grow,” said Johnston.

As for car, he says Pioneer is now one of the few OEM suppliers with a strong brand name in aftermarket car audio and Pioneer’s aim is to capitalize on that. It wants to win more Tier 1 OEM deals (it already has some). It expects to use its product expertise in the aftermarket to better create OEM products and vice versa, said Johnston.

“Many OEM suppliers do not have aftermarket brands at all or have minimal brand representation. We can learn from what we do in the aftermarket to help guide the future with our OEM partners,” he said.

An example is AppRadio, where Pioneer aggregates a number of apps to present to the user, and it is not dependent on one platform, like either Android or iOS. “We can aggregate content and show new and unique ways of integrating content,” said Johnston.

On the flip side, Pioneer’s expertise in OEM helps it prepare in the aftermarket for new technology trends coming down the pike.

He concluded, “We’ll have the ability to make more investment in car because we’re focused on that space.”

Details on investments are not yet defined, he said.

On the subject of delays in the release of Apple CarPlay capability for Pioneer radios, Johnston said the company could not comment.

Source: CEoutlook

Photo of Russ Johnston via Engadget

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