Some 12 volt suppliers reacted quickly to the newest 15 percent tariffs that took effect September 1 on Chinese goods including car radios with LCD screens, in-car monitors and speakers.
Harman (JBL/Infinity) and Rockford announced price increases effective October 1 and September 9, respectively.
Epsilon (Soundstream/PowerAcoustik) said it notified dealers it will announce a price increase of 8 to 12 percent on many products in next couple of weeks.
Some suppliers said they avoided price increases as long as they could, but the newest round of tariffs, following earlier 25 percent tariffs on amplifiers, plus high tariffs on wires, capacitors and other parts, pushed them over the edge.
“There’s a big bowling ball coming right at us all and we can’t avoid anything right now,” said Paul Goldberg of Epsilon.
“In the past, we were able to negotiate with our factories to offset a lot of the tariffs that were being charged,” he said, noting that the new tariffs cannot be absorbed. All told, the tariffs will cost the company in the 7 figures this year.
Boss Audio’s Doug Kern said of the tariffs, “It’s hitting us pretty hard. We’re pushing our factories to see where they can give us better prices but the factories aren’t really moving. We haven’t raised prices yet. We’re living off the inventory we have and letting the dust clear and we will be instituting price increases.”
The company paid to air ship in some of its higher priced CarPlay head units prior to the September 1 deadline to avoid tariffs, as the cost of air shipping was cheaper than absorbing the tariff.
Harman alerted dealers this week it would raise prices on dealer cost, minimum advertised price (MAP) and suggested retail price (SRP) on many JBL and Infinity speakers effective October 1. The new price sheet did not show old prices but some of the new prices included:
JBL Mobile Stadium speakers at $159 to $449
JBL Mobile Stadium subwoofers $229-$259
JBL Mobile CLUB series subwoofers $149-$179
JBL Mobile Marine Series speakers $249 – $349
Rockford alerted dealers of price increases in dealer and MAP prices with MAP increasing generally $15 to $100 on car, marine, powersport and motorcycle speakers and subwoofers.
Other suppliers such as Alpine said they are still evaluating pricing.