It’s Official: Aftermarket Head Unit Sales Grew in 2015

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Pioneer DEH-X6800BT

Against the odds, aftermarket in-dash CD player sales in the US (wholesale) grew by 7 percent in units and 2 percent in dollars last year, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Assoc.

And total aftermarket audio/video/navigation sales to dealers excluding portable navigation devices grew slightly to $1.644 billion in 2015, up from 2014 sales of $1.639 billion.

The CTA attributed the “surprising growth”  to the fact that the average age of cars on the road is 11.5 years, and “no doubt many consumers are looking to upgrade their systems to adopt today’s automotive technologies; chiefly streaming audio and mobile apps.”

Sales for CD players topped 5.5 million units this year (in sales to dealers) and mechless (CDless) head units saw growth of 42 percent in units and 43 percent in dollars.

Sales, however, are expected to flatten this year, with head unit sales projected to fall by 2 percent in units and 4 percent in dollars.  Then again, the CTA had projected a decline in CD player sales for 2015, so who knows? ( Last year it predicted a 5 and 6 percent decline in CD player unit and dollar sales, respectively.)

Bluetooth decks (A2DP) should continue to see double digit growth this year.   The segment skyrocketed by 33 percent  last year in unit sales and is expected to see 20 percent growth this year (or in dollars, 20 percent growth last year and 19 percent this year).

In dash AV decks gained by 5 percent last year in units but fell by 4 percent in dollars.

Projected total sales for full aftermarket this year are $1.625 billion (sales to dealers), down from last year’s $1.644 billion.


You can see more in the charts below (click to enlarge).


CTA Head units sales 2015



CTA total car stereo 2016 January

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting. While I do not see this as a business sustaining trend… I am reminded of the time in 1982 when I was informed by members of CASA that the OEM guys would kill the aftermarket by 1987. The work that we were performing at the time seemed to me to be quite technical in nature. Of course we are still in the business BUT the level of technical expertise required today is significantly higher and the variety of solutions provided and work performed is significantly different. I contend that the future will present similar opportunities and conditions… We just have to stay on top of those opportunities.

    Ray Windsor

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