NPD Preview on May Car Audio Sales

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Not surprisingly, car audio sales to consumers were up from from the second week of April through most of May, according to the NPD Group.

From April 12 to 25, sales rose 6 percent compared to the same period a year ago.  And for the first 3 weeks of May sales were up 4.3 percent from a year ago.

By contrast, car audio sales in February and March were down 15 percent.

The NPD Group’s Ben Arnold said sales of consumer electronics in general have been up by 20 percent since the second week in April.

We asked him if the car audio gains were due to stimulus payments, higher unemployment payments, other stores being closed or other entertainment forms such as trips to Disney World, being off limits.  Arnold said, “All of the above.”  But in particular, he added, “I would expect there were enthusiasts who got some extra money at the end of April and went to the their neighborhood dealer or the dealer of their choice and bought some extra things.”

In consumer electronics in general, Arnold said TV sales have been very strong in the 55- to 65-inch range. Streaming sticks such as Roku are up and “We’re seeing a lot of sales of PCs and tablets.”

How long will this last? Part of the answer to that question, is dependent on how long supplies will last, said Arnold. “For a lot of the categories, it’s hard to get products over from China. Part of it is how long can retailers stay in stock.  On the consumer side, as we head into summer, what is the appetite for technology with some of these other categories pulling from the budget and vacations looming? Also, does the economic climate improve? ”

According to The NPD Group’s point-of-sale weekly retail tracking:

  • For Feb/March and the first two weeks of April (Feb 2-April 18th), car audio dollar sales were down 15% compared to the same period the year prior.
  • For the last two weeks of April (April 12-April 25), car audio dollar sales were up 6% compared to the same period the year prior.
  • For the first three weeks of May (May 3- May 23)  dollar sales were up 4.8% compared to the same period last year.

Categories included are: car amplifiers, car CD changers, car stereo speakers, CD controllers, in-dash stereo receivers, in-dash video receivers, and satellite radio boxes.

Photo: Quality Car Stereo

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