Kenwood, we learned, does not expect to ship its 2016 line of car radios including CarPlay and Android Auto models until mid-June.
That would mark a near 3 month delay that has left dealers without key product in the critical spring selling season.
Two sources confirmed the shipping target, but Kenwood did respond to our inquiries.
Among the 2016 Kenwood radios delayed are 8 CarPlay models, including the first from the supplier to combine CarPlay and built-in navigation. Additionally, half of those radios will also offer Android Auto.
The shipping glitch, allegedly due to a delayu in obtaining Apple certification, left dealers scrambling for CarPlay models in some cases, but most have filled demand with comparable products from Pioneer and an Alpine CarPlay model (plus a new Alpine Jeep Wrangler-specific model).
“It’s put a lot of core Kenwood retailers in a difficult position and forced us to support other vendors,” said Tunes N Tint, Operations Director Joe Cassity. The FL-based chain is completely sold out of last year’s Kenwood navigation and CarPlay models. “We missed our busy selling season and tax time; by the time the new units ship it’ll be during the slow time of year when 12V business starts drying up.” He added, “Sadly our business with Kenwood will be significantly off this year. I only hope customers held out for the new units and we’ll see a spike…”
JR Stocks, CEO of Freeman’s Car Stereo, NC said the chain ordered heavily in Kenwood’s 2015 line so he could handle a 30 day delay in the 2016 line. “But to miss it by over 30 or 45 days, for us it becomes a major problem.”
Several retailers said they had been out of stock on Kenwood CarPlay radios for up to 30 days, although others still had one or two models left; some, only display units.
Sister brand JVC is also delayed and is about it to introduce its first CarPlay radio, the KW-V820BT double-DIN AV receiver announced at $599 in January. We were told this week by Kenwood that JVC and Kenwood would ship at the same time.
Pioneer acknowledged it is enjoying better than average sales in 2016 radios as Kenwood’s products have been delayed since March.
One reason why Pioneer’s CarPlay units were not held up in the Apple certification process, while others were, is because Pioneer has had several years of Apple certification for CarPlay and it did not make major hardware changes to its 2016 line, it said.
“We went through a lengthy process of getting our initial product out in 2014…so we’re on our third year. So we’re making minor changes to hardware and a software update, so we don’t have as far to go as others who were starting with a brand new platform. As a result, we’ve been able to gain certification and we’ve been in the market since March,” said VP Marketing Ted Cardenas.
Kenwood 2016 CarPlay models include the eXcelon DNX893S, eXcelon DNX693S, eXcelon DDX9903S and the eXcelon DDX6903S as well as the Kenwood DNX773S, DNX573S, DDX9703S and DDX6703S.
Half those models also get Android Auto including the eXcelon DNX893S, eXcelon DDX9903S as well as the Kenwood DNX773S and DDX9703S.