Full Year 2015 Car Audio Facts

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CEA Car Tech

Here are the important facts from the 2015 car audio market.

Despite the headwinds against traditional car audio, sales were about flat last year.

The NPD Group said car stereo sales to consumers were down less than one percent and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) said shipments to dealers were up less than one person.

This year, sales to consumers are expected to drop slightly said the CTA.

While sales of traditional single CD players are falling (by 10 percent in 2015), sales of in-dash AV players rose about 11 percent in 2015, according to NPD.

In-dash navigation was down 4 percent.

Amplifiers were slightly down (by 2 percent), and speakers were slightly up (by less than 1 percent) said NPD.

You can also  see car audio shipment figures from the CTA here.  These figures also include back seat video monitors, integration devices and other car audio related categories.

Here are some other facts from 2015 that may be helpful:


Product Demand:

27 percent want a backup camera, according to the CTA and 17 percent want a remote starter (that’s a strong figure considering only parts of the US are cold enough for remote start, said the CTA).

28 percent want in-dash navigation.  As much as 44 percent of parents want backseat entertainment.


Sticking Points for Aftermarket

Only 15 percent of consumers know you can get blind spot monitoring or lane watch in the aftermarket.

Consumers believe the most trusted source for installation of these products is a car dealership rather than a car audio shop.

Only 10 percent of consumers are likely to purchase technology for their car at a local car stereo shop


Facts for Salesmen on Driver Safety


More than a third of people admit to texting while driving, based on a study of 1,000 respondents by State Farm Insurance.

Also while driving people are reading social media (21 percent), taking photos (19 percent), and accessing the Internet (29 percent).

States with the worst drivers are….

Car fatalities increased in 2015 after decades of relatively constant decline, deaths on US highways jumped nine percent during the first nine months of 2015,



Facts for Salesmen on Car Security

Car thefts are slightly up, by 1 percent after years of decline, according to the FBI, reporting on the first 6 months of 2015.

Also the National Insurance Crime Bureau suggested that car theft will rise 9 percent in 2015.



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  1. I think the bigger problem is this statement;

    Only 10 percent of consumers are likely to purchase technology for their car at a local car stereo shop

    The industry as a whole needs to work on this and get their 5#!+ together and quit fighting over who’s the cheapest. Manufacturers will just keep churning out cheap non-innovative product as long as the industry concentrates on being cheap rather than quality. Too many shops are stuck in that race to zero mentality. Why would a consumer take their car to some place that just offers cheap, dumbed down versions of what the car manufacturers are offering. And don’t let me forget about the internet. The internet makes everything we do look soooo easy. Can’t tell you how many jobs we have had to fix thanks to YouTube making our job look easy. It actually makes my job less enjoyable fixing stuff all the time rather than just selling people quality product and installing it right the first time.

    1. JH,

      Agree whole heartedly. Now what? Who in the industry is going to take the lead? If we wait for manufacturers… we already know the answer to that question. If we wait for the shops caught in the race to zero game… we know the answer to that question too. So I guess it is up to specialty retailers to give direction to and support the manufacturers, who move in the correct direction more often and more completely than the others.

      When we, as specialty retailers, look at our brand mix it should be fairly easy to determine if we are leading in the right direction or following in the wrong direction.

      Ray Windsor

  2. the aftermarket manufacturers need to get off of their a** and innovate-not just stay on cruise control
    supplying the car manufacturers. Ces, this year, was a car show for the oem manufacturers-not the aftermarket that looked tired in comparison. all the bright lights and excitement was at the new car dealers. carplay and android play have gone oem. what’s next pioneer, kenwood?

  3. This article delivers a very important set of information for specialty retailers. Indeed the most important parts are…

    ONE: The OPPORTUNITY represented by the consumers who think the new car dealership is a better place to purchase and have installed, OUR STUFF! Think about reaching out to these people and educating them about you.

    TWO: 90% of future technology purchases are going to happen SOME PLACE OTHER THAN YOUR STORE. The OPPORTUNITY in these 90% of consumers is astounding. Lets concentrate our efforts on identifying and communicating with these consumers

    A: Your customer lists. (mostly no or little cost to you)
    B: Social Media. (mostly no or little cost to you)
    C: Optimizing your web site presence. (some cost, BUT I know some exceptional and very affordable talent… Jon Dewer and Mitch Schaefer come to mind)

    The point is OPPORTUNITY is abundant. We just gotta take it.

    Ray Windsor 949-228-2153

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