An Unusual Drop in Single DIN Radios

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single DIN radio

Sales of single DIN radios are dropping off more steeply than in the past at car audio specialists, according to two leading suppliers and several retailers.

As prices on double DIN radios continue to decline, more consumers are stepping up to double DIN radios, they said.

“While it’s been going in that direction for a long time, it fell of the cliff a little this year. Nobody wants to buy a single DIN CD player,” said one of the top head unit suppliers.

A spokesman for a second supplier, Kenwood, said the company is seeing the same trend.

John Link, President of Freight Sales (Audio Express and Quality Autosound chains) said, “We’ve been seeing the trend for a while, but around March or April of this year, single DIN started to slide off more than ever. Initially the double DINs saw a pretty major increase at that same time, but it’s kind of tapered off.”

Industry forecasts have called for single DIN CD players  to fall by about 4 percent a year over the next few years in units and 6 percent in dollars, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). By contrast double DIN radios with video capability are expected to grow by 15 percent this year in dollar sales to dealers, and 11 percent in 2018.

But some say the drop in single DIN CD has been steeper than anticipated.

“Single DIN CD dropped off pretty rapidly this year. It’s kind of odd. Since June/July.  Where we would normally go through several cases of product, it dropped down to only a couple of cases. Normally they sell almost like popcorn,” said Chuck Allen of Warehouse Car Stereo, Stockton, CA.    He said double DIN radio sales have picked up but not enough to replace the volume lost on single DIN.

Tunes N Tint, FL; Ocala Car Audio, FL and Tint World, Longwood, FL reported a similar drop off in single CD player sales. But not all suppliers and retailers see the trend.

Car Toys said single CD is “plugging along at the same rate.” VP Merchandising & Marketing Jim Warren, added, “I can say that Car Toys is selling more head units this year than last!”


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