Alpine Sells Through 100 Jeep Dealers

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For 6 months, Alpine Electronics has been actively working with car dealerships to sell its Restyle line of truck specific radios. It’s now in about 100 Jeep dealers across the country, Alpine confirmed.

Alpine’s Steve Crawford said that aftermarket 12 volt retailers are still responsible for most Restyle sales. But Alpine believes “the new car dealership channel has the potential to represent a significant portion of the Alpine Restyle business moving forward, and those sales will supplement the sales taking place at the 12 volt specialists.”

Automotive News recently interviewed the first Jeep dealer to sell Restyle. Located in a Dallas suburb, Huffines Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram said Alpine audio systems are now the most profitable item it sells and it is routinely installing $7,500 to $8,000 systems in vehicles.

Alpine said some of the dealerships are also selling Alpine components and cameras in addition to Restyle radios.

Huffines created a subsidiary called Huffines Designs to handle marketing and installing Alpine accessories, mainly for the Wrangler and Ram 1500.

Huffines owns nine dealerships and sells about 175 new vehicles per month under the Fiat Chrysler, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru brands. It also sells about 150 used car sales a month.

Crawford said, “Our intent for creating the Alpine Restyle solutions was to create a new business opportunity for the 12 volt specialist channel. We invested a lot of marketing resources over the past two years for this channel — including consumer events, in-store merchandising and advertising (TV, web, print) — to increase awareness of the systems and drive customers to specialists.”

He added, “In 2014 when we first introduced the 9” vehicle-specific Alpine Restyle systems, we and many of our independent partners believed the products were game changers, and we continue to feel that way. But as with anything new, it takes time to penetrate and firmly establish the business model in the marketplace. Some retailers had great success with the Alpine Restyle solutions out of the gate, while others have found it’s taking more time to make the systems part of their retail model…

Since the solutions are vehicle-specific, this has caused us to really study and evaluate the Alpine Restyle customer and their lifestyle needs. The result is we have a new way of running our business which ensures we are adding value to the marketplace and the end user.”

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  1. HA…. Another Kick on the Alpine Dealers. Hey guys we lowered your margins, highered your buyin, created a bunch new products that don’t fit anything, and we’re selling to everybody in creation to cut you out of the loop. Alpine will learn its lesson….

  2. Alpine needs to fire their research firm or whoever is sending them down this path. They do not understand the car dealership market. I have a restyle product in my dash and it does not perform near as well as the Kenwood and Pioneer 7″ counterparts. They need to worry about fixing the features offered on their units and not their distribution model.

  3. I see Alpine digging their own grave with this tactic. They shouldn’t have put all their eggs in one basket with a failing product like the 9″ units. We told them numerous times that the units are far over priced, but they don’t want to listen to their dealers. Every time we show a customer a 9″ unit, they are excited about it until they hear the price. I understand that Alpine’s argument is that we have larger screens coming from the vehicle manufactures, but because of where current nav units are price wise, a customer doesn’t want to spend double or more just because it has a larger screen. I guarantee you that if car manufactures gave a customer an option on screen sizes with the exact same features and there was a double in price, the customer would go with the smaller screen more often. Plus all of Alpine’s nav units are about 2 years behind everybody else now. CarPlay and Android auto is what our customers are buying and Alpine doesn’t even offer this, unless of course you have a Jeep. I would love to hear what the Alpine dealers in this part of Dallas think about this. Especially the ones that were servicing these dealerships.

  4. Another company cutting into its base of dealers, we have enough problems with car dealerships’ terrible attitude towards stereo shops. Vizulaogic tried this years ago and got their butt handed to them by their wholesalers and retail shops. Alpine would drop you as a dealer for selling an associate a CD changer so they can close a sale if they were out of stock, but will now go around you to sell a deck direct to the consumer. If it works for them they will expand the program and cut into your high end.
    The reason customers even walk into a private electronics shop is because new car dealers do not install stereos. Why are they not just promoting the local alpine dealers to the manufacturer and the dealerships as an upsell for the clients.

    Good luck !

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