Top Story of 2021

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CEoutlook Top Story 2021

It was another year of challenges due to the pandemic– product shortages, staff shortages, stressed out employees and customers alike. But 12 volt sales for many were better-than-average or at least on a par with 2019.

Some car audio suppliers set sales records during the year and some retailers found demand so high, installation appointments were booked out for weeks.

But with unrelenting product shortages, dealers were forced to find new ways to either obtain head units or complete installations without them.

It was also a year of loss, as the industry said goodbye to many beloved members; some lost to COVID that continues to to run rampant and pose challenges both professionally and personally to many.

Innovation was rare by the second half of the year, and many of the top stories centered around new products announced earlier in the year.

Below are the top 10 stories, as tabulated by clicks on for the past year.


Alpine Intros New $399 Receiver

Alpine Electronics of America announced two new receivers, including a step up to its popular iLX-W650 receiver in the new iLX-407.


Sony Introduces 3 New Receivers

Sony Electronics announced three new car audio receivers, including a new entry level model at $299 plus two new models with HDMI inputs. The new head units include the XAV-AX8100, XAV-AX5600 and and XAV-AX150.


When Will Radio Shortages End?

Now that a Tier 1 CarPlay radio is a rare commodity, we asked top retailers and distributors when vendors say shortages will ease up.

Infrastructure Bill Mandates Alcohol Interlock Tech

The infrastructure bill on bridges and tunnels being debated in the US Senate at present includes a mandate for car makers to include technology in new automobiles that prevents a car from starting if the driver is drunk.

New Subwoofer Box Company Launches

A new subwoofer enclosure company called Pressure Lab is launching out of Georgia led by Scott Miller, a long-time retailer and installer, along with his wife Megan Stilliman.

Kicker Shows New Flagship Square Sub

[This story ran late in 2020 but continued to draw thousands of clicks in 2021]    Kicker announced at SEMA360 a new flagship competition SPL square subwoofer, replacing the original SoloX, which was first launched in 2003. The new L7X, due in …

Visionary 12V Executive Passes

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of a leading industry member, Mark Rutledge. He developed the Maestro interface at Automotive

Distributor Sued For False RMS Ratings

[This story ran late in 2020 but continued to draw thousands of clicks in 2021] A class action lawsuit was filed last month against a NY-based distributor for advertising inflated RMS power ratings on its private brand of car audio equipment.

Key China Port Terminal Shuts Down

A key terminal at one of the largest shipping ports in the world–and a leading port for consumer electronics goods– has been shut down due to

New Rules of Head Unit Sales

The rules of engagement for selling head units are shifting due to their new-found popularity and, unfortunately, scarcity….


Photo via Gibbons Gazette

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