Update on Head Unit Sales

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Head unit sales drop slightly

Head unit sales remain remarkably resilient given all the headwinds against them.

Four suppliers said their head unit sales haven’t fallen more than five percent so far this year compared to last year.

The Consumer Technology Assn. (CTA) forecasts  head units will decline by six percent this year over 2023.

But deck sales are actually up from 2019, when sales to dealers were at about $585 million.  For 2024, the CTA is forecasting total head unit sales to dealers at $679 million.

A poll of retailers found a mixed bag of head unit sales so far this year, compared to early 2023.  Dean Magnussen of Sound Warehouse, Utah said, “I don’t see a big drop off. It’s kind of unnoticeable to me. Our sales in head units as a portion of our sales are about what they’ve always been; actually they’re a little higher because of demand for wireless CarPlay…” He said installs that include a radio are over 30 percent of the chain’s installs.

Columbus Car Audio, Ohio, however, has seen a drop off in deck sales of about 25 percent year to date compared to last year, while overall business is only down five percent.  Oddly enough, navigation decks have seen a small increase, said owner Todd Hays.

Alan Benit of Ricky Smith’s Audio, Louisiana, is also seeing a decline in deck sales.  “From my point of view on the sales floor, there are fewer and fewer  head unit sales. Many of our customers are in newer cars and are happy with what comes with the car, but that opens us up to more involved interfaces to add subwoofers and amplifiers.  I don’t think we’re losing money; it’s just being replaced by other things.”

For Tunes-n-Tint, it’s business as usual in head units.  Owner Joe Cassity said,  “I’m not sure we’ve seen any more of a decline in head units than we have for years, per se.”



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  1. Part of the increase of dollar amount is due to manufacturers increasing prices. Just saying.

    1. And that increase is due to parts procurement and increases in component and logistics. Just saying.

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