COVID-Adjusted Car Audio Forecast 2020

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car audio sales 2020 CTA forecasts

Despite soaring sales at car audio specialists at present, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) still offers a less than rosy forecast for the 12 volt aftermarket this year.

In is annual mid-year revised forecast, the CTA predicts a 16 percent decline to $1.8 billion in wholesale sales.

This doesn’t seem to match the boom that car specialists and many car audio suppliers are reporting.  CTA Director of Industry Analysis and Business Intelligence Rick Kowalski believes that some of the surging sales may be drawing from holiday sales later in the year.  Due to the government stimulus money, “We almost have a holiday early in the year.  But a lot of the sales we’ve seen will pull from what may have occurred later in the year, naturally.”

Another limiting factor for sales this year is shortages.  “All the data across the board in the industry through May year-to-date, from what I recall, is everything’s been down in double digits in terms of what’s getting shipped to dealers in 2020,” said Kowalski.

He added, “Overall, the perspective we’re looking at is we’re seeing unemployment at critical highs…that will ultimately impact a lot of the market over the course of the year…It’s still unclear what this next stimulus package will be, but it looks to be much smaller than the initial one.  So overall, a lot of uncertainty is worked into our forecast.”

CEoutlook’s own findings are that many suppliers are up for the year, but some are still behind 2019. As one leading supplier noted, “Those who supply Best Buy are still down for the year and those who don’t are up.” With Best Buy closed for several months, sales for many suppliers were stalled.

The CTA forecasts that autosound equipment ( radios without a screen, amplifiers and speakers) will fall to $586 million wholesale from $717 million in 2019.  Mobile video, including car radios with screens, will drop to $209 million from $228 million last year.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will fall to $285 from $333 million, automotive security will fall to $167 million, from $206 million, dash cameras to $54 million from $56 million and rear view cameras will fall to $67 million, down from $71 million in 2019.

Dash cameras, however, are expected to rebound in 2021, increasing 35 percent to $73 million.


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  1. Well that isn’t very encouraging! I do like the Christmas in the summer though, also if we are just trading dollars, then this is the best Christmas season I have ever seen for wholesale. In my given areas holiday sales generally are in the remote start category, and I have not seen the spike yet in that area over the last 3 months. So if you live in the Midwest I would say this editors crystal ball probably has COVID and can’t see the future very well.

    1. Hi Anthony. Thanks for your comment. Just one thing… please don’t blame the messenger. CEoutlook does not necessarily agree with the CTA’s forecast.

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