Price Outlook for 12 Volt

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car audio suppliers lower prices

Prices on car audio head units continued to fall this month, now that sales have come off their pandemic highs, and supplies of popular head units have improved.

Kenwood lowered prices October 1 on nine models plus six Excelon decks by about 10 -15 percent, said several of its retailers.

Alpine dropped the price of its popular iLX-W650 from $449 to $399 MAP. The shallow mount radio offers CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM capability.

At least some of the price moves are considered adjustments now that shipping costs have declined. Containers that once cost over $20,000 are now back to $3,000 in some cases, in line with pre-pandemic pricing.

Additionally, the wait times at port due to congestion are down, reports CNBC.  This again translates to lower shipping costs.

But, the industry, as a whole, is overstocked, having piled up head unit inventory recently as a hedge against the shortages that prevailed for the past two years.

“Everyone probably has too much inventory right now,” said Todd Hays of Columbus Car Audio, echoing other dealers as noted in our earlier story here.

The same is true for suppliers. For that reason, many expect that prices will continue to fall.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the bottom yet,” said one supplier. “Everybody is sitting on so much inventory. You have to alleviate it before tax season otherwise you have to pay taxes on it.”  Tax policies may vary by state, but for some vendors, the taxes on inventory could surpass $1 million.

Also, some suppliers are simply introducing new models at significantly lower prices.  This is the case for Pioneer, which launched this summer an all wireless (wireless CarPlay/Android Auto) deck, the DMH-W2770NEX at $430. The previous price floor for all-wireless decks from Pioneer and other top brand retailers had been $650 to $900.


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