Car Audio 2018 Forecast

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In its 2018 report, the Consumer Technology Association recognized that the traditional car audio aftermarket is continually expanding into new niche markets.

The CTA wrote, the market has developed “a perennial preoccupation…to unearth new markets. The resurgence of marine audio…is one such market where many industry players have stayed afloat…Another more recent example is the ATV/UTV segment. Even golf carts have become a minor market opportunity…”

The CTA added, “Expect the industry to continue its pursuit of newfound markets (Segways maybe?) in the coming years to smooth out the bumps in the road.”

In response, the CTA has, for the first time, tracked marine audio sales and is considering tracking UTV/ATV audio sales in the future, said CTA Senior Director Market Research Steve Koenig.  We suggest it also track motorcycle audio sales, which are winning a sizable chunk of revenue for some suppliers.

Marine audio sales were pegged at 694,000 units, up 2 percent, according to the CTA’s January forecast.  In wholesale dollars, marine audio is projected to fall 4 percent in 2018 to $42 million, declining slightly each year down to $39 million in 2021.

Two suppliers said the $42 million mark for aftermarket marine audio seemed low.  If you include sales at marine retailers and aftermarket sales at boat docks, the figure could increase by 40 percent, said one vendor.

In total, the aftermarket, including mobile video, navigation, advanced driver safety products and cameras and car and marine audio (but EXCLUDING portable navigation devices), will see wholesale shipments of about $1.6 billion, remaining essentially flat in 2019.  Shipments will fall to $1.5 billion by 2021, according to the CTA’s data.

CTA 2018 forecast car audio




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  1. CTA sounds like they are surprised our industry finds ways to survive. Maybe even disappointed. They have been predicting our demise for over a decade, while they snuggled up to OEM suppliers and car manufacturers.

    No thanks to them, we’re doing just fine, thank you very much.

  2. do not fear the forecast. it is a forecast based largely on manufacturer forecasts and a little data from larger retail shops. lots of room for error.

    with the proper application of aggressive sales techniques biz will remain flat for some time.


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