And the younger Ivey has initiated several changes at MTX.
Mitek companies like Atlas Sound already sell Ethernet connected speakers to Starbucks and to 80 percent of the airports around the world. ‘When you hear announcements over the loudspeakers at airports, that’s us,’ said John Ivey.
He plans to take research and development from Mitek’s thriving Atlas Sound and IED divisions (now AtlasIED) and share them with MTX. Ivey admitted that MTX “hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves over the last five years,” as Mitek built up its other companies. “We’re going to focus on car,” he said.
“Before I took over there were three engineering departments, Atlas, IED and MTX. Atlas worked on high end compression horn speakers used in football stadiums…IED [employs] dozens of software and firmware engineers with some hardware engineers on the computer side. MTX was working on traditional type car audio. It made no sense. I combined them into one so we have this high technology we will use on the car side.”
Mitek is a private company that doesn’t reveal sales, but Ivey claims there’s plenty of money to fund R&D for car products. In fact, the online ecommerce system that MTX launched in 2013 cost over $4 million.
“My passion is car… I bleed MTX red. I have a very detailed plan of how to bring some of our commercial technology into the consumer space. We use a lot of digital processors…our largest customer is Cisco…“We are the perfect company to capitalize on this. We do this already for airports,” Ivey added.
He sees installers playing a big role in future Ethernet car products. Even with a plug-in network, “Installer specialists are still going to need to pull the cables and it still has to be plugged into the network. The level of expertise will actually have to go up…” he said.
Ivey ran Mitek’s consumer divisions from 2003 to 2007 and then moved to the commercial divisions, until returning to MTX Audio in recent months. He is now President of Mitek (and also President of MTX). He said of his father, “Loyd will always be known as the MiTek CEO .. The one the only! That job will never be replaced.”
Loyd Ivey is considered a pioneer and leader in car audio and was honored by the Consumer Technology Association in 2013 for his 16 years of service at the time on CTA Executive Boards.
Earlier this year, Loyd decided he did not want to deal with the day to day stresses of running the consumer side of the business, said his son.
MTX currently has 375 car audio dealers. It dropped all its distributors in 2013 as part of an effort to stop transshipping and Internet discounting. It also launched an ecommerce Internet site at the time, which was the only way dealers or consumers could buy product.
John Ivey said of the current MTX system, “We have both brick and mortar resellers and online resellers using this ecommerce method (Cloud Commerce) but we also have some dealers using a more traditional program that rewards dealers that stock a wide range of our MTX products. Both methods have the exact same price. The price is the price is the price. If you google the Thuder500.1 you will see we are really good at keeping our products profitable for ALL our dealers. It took a lot of money, time and honestly BALLS to do what we have done…”