What a year! It started off all about new, larger screens, up to 11 inches from Alpine, while Pioneer, JVC and Kenwood entered with 10 inch screens.
Then the world changed. Retailers shuttered their shops and shifted to making face shields. Even Best Buy shut its doors to in-store customers for weeks! So did Car Toys and Audio Express.
Not long afterward, stores reopened to a boom in sales. Product shortages became the next retail plague of 2020. Secondary brands benefitted and picked up sakes.
There was a fire at the AKM chip factory in Japan, which is expected to cause more product delays this coming year.
VOXX purchased not only Rostra but VOXX’s long time remote start rival Directed.
With a year of increased sales there is much to be grateful for in car audio. At the same time, we are saddened at the loss of many well-loved industry members including Tom Malone, Jay Kent, Karl Kawachi, Chris Fierek, Steve Falmark, Linda Ferguson, Lukas Louw, John Link, Youseff Phillips, and Chuck Schneider.
In a year where more than 100,000 small businesses are expected to close, the car audio industry has much to be grateful for.
Here is a list of this year’s top stories in CEoutlook. The number one entry is about small business in general, followed by a story about a 12 volt distributor sued for alleged false RMS audio ratings.
- A Note About Your PPP Forgiveness Story noting that PPP loans under $150K might receive simplified forgiveness.
- Distributor Sued for False RMS Ratings E-Distributors in NY was sued for advertising deceptive RMS ratings on Rockville Audio speakers.
- Car Audio Halt on Amazon In April, Amazon stopped accepting shipments of consumer electronics and other products including car audio at its warehouses to prioritize medical supplies and necessities early in the pandemic.
- These High End Home Speakers End Up in Cars Raven home audio subwoofers are ending up in high end car audio builds and competition cars.
- Kenwood, JVC Join Large Screen Radio Craze Kenwood and JVC Mobile showed their first 10-inch radio models at CES 2020, joining a sweeping trend to larger radio screens.
- New USB Device Adds to CarPlay Radios GCH Automotive announced a streaming media USB device for the car that plugs into a CarPlay car radio to allow apps such as Netflix to appear on the radio screen.
- Industry Leader Passes We announced, with sadness, the passing of Tom Malone, President of VOXX Advanced Solutions Corporation and former President of Audiovox Electronics.
- New Apple Car Function; iPhone 12 Apple announced new iPhone 12 models and a new function of CarPlay– to serve as an intercom for the Apple HomePod and other Apple devices.
- Pioneer Intros 9, 10-Inch Floating Radios At CES 2020, Pioneer debuted new floating radios in its NEX line including a 10.1-inch model and two 9-inch versions.
- Boyo HUD has CarPlay, Android Auto Vision Tech America, maker of Boyo, shipped one of the first heads up displays to include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
Happy New Year to all!