Unfortunately, we report yet another recent death in the car audio industry family.
Karl Kawachi, a long-time manufacturer’s rep and fixture in the car audio industry passed away recently from cancer.
Among the many lines that Karl represented over the years were Rockford Fosgate, Eclipse, JVC, Diamond Audio, Cerwin Vega and Elettromedia.
Ron Trout, Director of Sales for Car Electronics at JVCKenwood called him “A pioneer of the Hawaiian 12 volt industry.”
Trout said, “Karl, a true music aficionado was born and raised in Hawaii and loved music early on; eventually playing bass guitar in a high school band. He was an early supporter of IASCA, and DB Drag in the Hawaiian competition scene. He started Pro Line Hawaii in 1989 in Aiea, Hawaii on the island of Oahu. Prior to that Karl worked as a rep for Now Marketing, beginning in 1983.”
Karl valiantly battled cancer since 2017 until his passing on October 5th, said Trout.
He is survived by his wife Phyllis and daughters Sarah and Kelly.
Rockford Director of Marketing Tammy Lowe said, “Karl has been a Rockford rep for over three decades. He wasn’t just a part of the team, he was a friend and a respected member of our family. Karl enthusiastically tackled every challenge with passion and an open heart. He knew virtually every dealer on the Hawaiian Islands. He worked hard for them, he worked hard for Rockford, and we all loved him for it. His legacy is woven into the fabric of our industry through his relationships, his mentorship of others, and his dedication to his craft. Karl was simply a good guy with a huge heart and we will miss him.”
Bryan Schmitt, CEO of Mobile Solutions worked closely with Kawachi many years ago. “We would travel the islands and visit the dealers, holding classes and when we started Mobile Solutions, he was our rep. He was just a great friend. He liked to talk. He always wanted to know what you were doing; he was one of those people always more concerned about your well-being than his own.”