The Surprising 12 Volt Facts of 2016

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car stereo

In looking at the research on car audio this year, it’s fair to say that the car radio (factory, OEM) is becoming one of the leading hot products in consumer electronics.

And the aftermarket might want to figure out a way to benefit from that.

For example, the infotainment system is so important it determine which car you buy.  Half of consumers say the radio brand will influence their car decision if the radio is from a well known brand like Bose, according to research firm Ipsos RDA.

Over 50 percent of new car buyers tend to upgrade to a premium audio system when choosing a car and 65 percent believe it increases the resale value of their vehicle. (Ipsos RDA)

More than a third of new car buyers (37 percent) say that a better radio would cause them switch to a different car when making a purchase. That’s up from 20 percent in 2014 according to McKinsey & Co.

How about this statement about car buying from a leading electronic design company: “ In other words, today’s buyers, especially the younger ones, care more about the infotainment system than what’s under the hood,” said Don Kurelich of Mentor Graphics

Should we now tell customers that Pioneer is the supplier of the radio in many GM vehicles and Alpine in some BMW vehicles?

The most well-known brands by car buyers are Bose, Sony, Pioneer and Panasonic, as they are recognized by at least 2/3rds of consumers. The next tier includes Alpine, JBL, Infinity, Harman Kardon, BeatsAudio and Fender with 25 – 50 percent awareness.  Ipsos RDA  (See our story

Driver safety was also a hot topic in 2016.

Your customers, especially parents of teens, may need a reminder on why a connected car radio can save lives.

Fatal crashes are up this year by more than 7 percent to over 35,000 and the cause is an increase in drunken driving, texting and other distractions, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA (Automotive News)

Specifically, distracted driving is responsible for approximately 10 percent of all highway fatalities or about 10 deaths every day, says NHTSA  (Strategy Analytics )

If you’re driving 55 miles per hour and you’re texting and driving, the average text takes four seconds or the equivalent of driving 125 yards blindfolded,” said AAA. And a third of drivers admit to texting while driving.

At least 8 people are killed in a distracted driving related accident every day in the US.

Also in 2016, came the first major prediction of what the roads will look like with the roll out of autonomous cars.  We learned that 10 million self driving cars are expected to be on the road by 2020.

And for the aftermarket, we learned that sales the first half of the year were down by 1.4 percent, according to The NPD Group.

Another interesting fact to use on the sales floor–the typical vehicle owner spends an average of 11 hours per week in their car.

Photo: Best Buy

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  1. Too much information to comment on in detail here. All important. All suggesting a pathway for 12 volt, installing, specialty retailers to be relevant to consumers. More to come on this one…

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