After what seems like an eternity, vendors are showing and delivering new products. For many of us, we put the concept of new products out of our mind as we were completely focused on getting product, period. Vendors did the same. And you know what? They did the right thing.
So here we are selling in-dash electronics that in some cases might be 3-4 years old. And while I am still happy to just have inventory on the shelves, having more options for things like wireless CarPlay, Maestro interfacing, and multi-camera interfaces are all welcome additions.
So when Sony re-introduced Mobile ES last year, it was instantly embraced by the industry. And what started out as speakers and subwoofers then saw an option for a 10” floating screen unit with the features mentioned above. And now more speakers and amplifiers are getting added into the mix. And all of these are higher price points, which we all welcome with open arms.
And Alpine has two new grades of their flagship F1 product line. Things like this show me that vendors see our industry still having legs if they are going to spend significant resource dollars developing cutting edge products.
Harman has even stepped into the high-end arena with a $5500 JBL Arena X 3-way speaker package. So, if a HUGE company like that sees value in marketing a product like this, it gets me excited.
But let’s be honest. We can’t stay in business by only selling $5500 speakers and $1300 head units. We also need everyday products that feed our core clientele. Fortunately, products from mainstream companies have been shown to many of us. We even saw a drop in radio replacement from SoundStream for a 2014 and newer Harley that does CarPlay and Android Auto. They actually began shipping a short time after introducing the products and we have seen multiple shipments come in, not just a one and done.
Our industry has always thrived on out of the box thinking so it is a blessing to see engineers and product planners delivering saleable products to us.
Accele even showed a seat heater with adjustable lumbar and a massaging option. Time will tell if it is well received, but it is cool that they even developed it.
Finally, I think the time is upon us where we slowly move from just focusing on acquiring inventory to looking for unique products that set us apart from our competition. Products that give us new opportunities to sell to our existing clients and to attract new ones. So, start looking for new and upgraded technologies that have made our industry famous.
About Mr Retail
Mr Retail offers opinions and information on car audio retailing for CEoutlook. He wishes to remain anonymous. He has owned a retail store in this country for over 20 years now. Mr Retail loves what he does and loves the 12 volt industry and is happy to share his hard won expertise.
Photo: Alpine F#1Status