Where Are the Head Units?

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Car Radios in Short Supply

About nine months since the shortages began, major head unit suppliers are still struggling to supply product, including Pioneer Electronics which has stopped shipping CarPlay radios, according to many retailers.

Other car radio vendors such as Sony, Alpine and Kenwood, are all seeing product trickle in relative to orders. Pioneer has stopped shipping CarPlay and/or NEX models altogether, said several industry members.

Sony said it is shipping head units, “But a small percentage of what we normally ship. We’re planning to see relief in 60 to 90 days,” said a spokesman.

Retailers said Alpine radios are in short supply and Kenwood is only shipping partial orders.

No Pioneer NEX or CarPlay radios will be available until April-June at the earliest, mainly due to the fire at the AKM chip plant last fall, said many retailers, distributors, and manufacturer reps.

Pioneer said shipping information is “confidential business,” when we asked for a comment on the topic.

Some retailers we spoke to said they had not received a Pioneer shipment of CarPlay radios since December.

Pioneer speakers are still in good supply and some single DIN radios are still shipping, but none with CarPlay, we are told.

The car radio shortages are exacerbated not only by the AKM chip plant fire but by the higher cost of parts and materials, higher shipping costs, and delays at the port.  We hope to report more on these issues in the coming days and are happy to report updates supplied by manufacturers.



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  1. might as well get used to the situation and develop other revenue streams. detailing, tint, carplay add ons, drugs, dating services, etc

  2. Check my local Wal-Mart they have Car Play and a Pioneer Touchscreen for around $100. When we call Pioneer they tell us no product in stock and it will be months before they get anything new. Spoke to a Wal Mart manager and asked if they had more of the Pioneer’s as I heard there was a shortage of headhunts and I was not ready to buy for another week or so. I was told no problem our warehouses have plenty.

  3. This is a huge failure on the behalf of the manufacturers effected by this, and the lack of transparency and honesty with regards to what is going on, is a problem. The shortages are not effecting the Chinese manufacturers, so the question is why? The next question is where is the support for the independent sellers? The big online guys have stock, Crutchfield, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, but independents are struggling…..

    1. Good question. I have clients tell me all the time they can find what I can’t offer them online. Very frustrating.

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