CD Players Drop 20 Percent But…

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Standard car CD players (without screens) are taking a nose dive in sales.  And so are in-dash navigation decks. But car AV (multimedia) decks without navigation are holding their own.

Traditional CD player sales fell 20 percent in both units and dollars (wholesale) this year, according to the Consumer Technology Association.

But AV radios with screens rose 6 percent in units and fell only 1 percent in dollars, said the CTA’s 2017 US Forecast.

In-dash navigation decks however plunged by 34 percent in dollars and 35 percent in units.

There’s no escaping it was a rough year for car audio/video.  For the first time, wholesale figures for the total aftermarket fell below $2 billion.

The CTA divides car AV into two categories: one is autosound (amps, speakers, single CD, etc) totaling $929 million and the second is mobile video/navigation (including PNDs) totaling $1,049 million. Portable navigation accounted for $520 million of the total, down 16 percent from 2015.

Overall, mobile video/navigation fell 11 percent in dollars and autosound fell 12 percent.

The CTA said, “The outlook for the venerable aftermarket autosound category has dimmed somewhat from July, with total revenues now predicted to land around $929 million, down from $980 million in CTA’s July forecast update.  The slightly lower outlook stems from weakness in head unit and speaker sales where volumes narrowly missed expectations.  That said, the category continues to innovate and reinvent itself through new technologies and features, such as support for CarPlay and Android Auto….”


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  1. I would like to figure out a way to work with companies like Google and Apple directly since we now spend so much time educating consumers about those technologies and how to integrate them into their cars. Car dealers and cell phone providers are NOT doing their job in this department but we are not rewarded for our efforts it seems. I would be interested to hear what others are doing in this area.

  2. I noted earlier that some new “Amazon in the Car” technology was commented upon by a few folks. It seems to me that we should be looking for such technologies to help replace the lost business represented by CD and speaker sales slow down. Developing knowledge, skills and uses for these technologies, that WE can sell and WE can install and make a PROFIT might not be a bad use of time and energy.

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