Car audio companies began selling dashcams a few years back in the hopes that the high demand in Europe would cross the Atlantic and take root here. Some dealers say that is beginning to happen.
Sales of higher end dashcams (above $99) have steadily increased as consumer awareness of the product slowly climbs. The category is up by 40 percent or more at many dealers who say that customers are now coming in and asking for them.
Sales have doubled at The Specialists, AZ and at Proline Car Audio, NY. Sales are up 40 percent over last year at Sound of Tri-State, DE. At Depot Sound & Performance, FL, dashcam sales were up 50 percent last year and 30 percent this year.
There are almost as many reasons for the uptick in dashcam sales as there are retailers, but a chief reason for many drivers is that they’ve been in a recent accident and want to protect themselves from liability in the next one.
Mehdi Narimanian of Sound of Tri-State believes that dashcams should be “the new car alarm,” for the 12 volt industry. “If there was more education, if our industry had the money and funding to advertise, it would sell a lot more. There’s not a lot of marketing but consumers are getting hit and people are leaving the scene of accidents. The car alarm business is almost non-existent in some markets. This is the new car alarm,” he said.
At JML Audio, MO, most customers asking for dashcams have been in an accident. But some come in for other reasons. “We had an older gentlemen and we were talking about dashcams and he said, ‘I’m an older driver. People are going to automatically fault me. They are going to see a 75 year old in the car….’ He felt it was a way he could have a little bit of recourse in an accident.”
Proline Car Audio saw a significant increase in dashcam sales about 6-7 months ago. It carries Momento, Cobra, and Kenwood dashcams. “It keeps growing only because the crime rate is going up and people’s cars are broken into and they want evidence,” said a spokesman.
At Sound Depot & Performance, dashcam buyers are mainly high end car owners, or fleet managers. Also Uber drivers are buying dashcams because they want to see the passenger in the rear seat, said Omar Jawad.
Al & Ed’s Autosound, CA said more customers are seeing video footage on the news that’s derived from dashcams so awareness is growing. The chain sells a lot of Blackvue dashcams because they’ve gained a reputation on the car enthusiast blogs and forums. “The Blackvue camera, the 2 channel with WiFi, is probably our best seller. It’s a good system…They got themselves into the exotic car blogs and chat rooms and forums. So those clients are throwing that name around, so customers come in and say, ‘I need a Blackvue.’ We have other dashcams and we sell a good number…” said John Haynes.
Dashcams are likely to see a gradual increase each year rather than a breakthrough explosion in the coming years, said Don Zaney of AAMP Global, which distributes Thinkware.
“I don’t know if we’ll get that breakthrough year like we saw with CarPlay, but I do think it’s going to continue to increase until it’s a household style product,” he said.