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Is Car Audio Dead?


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mennitti 
Copper - Posts: 55
Copper spacespace
Joined: June 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: November 04, 2008 at 11:57 AM / IP Logged  

I'll assume you didn't mean for that to sound so condesending.

I am all of the above, however I still work on my car and would like to see the projects other people are into.

ckeeler 
Gold - Posts: 1,461
Gold spacespace
Joined: June 20, 2008
Location: New Mexico, United States
Posted: November 04, 2008 at 12:00 PM / IP Logged  
mennitti wrote:

I'll assume you didn't mean for that to sound so condesending.

I am all of the above, however I still work on my car and would like to see the projects other people are into.

No, didn't want to sound condesending. i thought you were asking that question because you actually didnt know.

remarkable53 
Member - Posts: 42
Member spacespace
Joined: January 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: November 05, 2008 at 12:47 PM / IP Logged  

The question is car audio dead??  As one who has been in the industry 20 plus years i can tell you no it is not..  Like Mark Twain once said.."reports of my death are greatly eggsaturated"  However, what is dead is the old model of how car audio is sold and installed.  No longer can I assume that every car that rolls into my install bays can i replace the head unit, install amps and new speakers and a happy customer drives away forever grateful and happy.  The new model just don't work that way and i feel really sorry for those still in the industry who still ascribe to this business model.  Let me briefly touch on some key points as i see them.  1) The mobil electronics catagory is now middle age and not the young upstart darling of the consumer electronics industry.  As a whole we were the young turks, daring to do things once thought unimaginable in the car. At the beginning there were few products that addressed the need for enhancned high end audio.  But the wow factor was easy to achive and shops started springing up as fast as new products and manufacturers.                              2) The comodization of products, which means that when you see some new hot product at CES you will see in hardly no time at all 10 other companies each selling the identical item, so it was with the in dash monitors and the video explosion.  This of course results in a lower bottom line because who is going to pay $500.00 for widget A when you can buy widget B for $300.00 and they are identical.  There has not been a product that creates customer demand and warm embrace other than iPod integreation.  This commoditization also includes the car makers listening and designing in the vehicle these telematic/entertainment protocols which to Mr Customer is good enough for them.                       3) Internet. .. Need i say more?  For an old single strore brick and morter dinosaur like ourselves we have to reinvent ourselves and our business model every 18 months or sooner.  By that i am referring to price erosion on key products, that are sold via a zillion web sites.  Good or Bad it ain't going away and if one does not only acknowldedge and accept it than there will be no viable solution to deal with this incursion on market share and profit margins and urban legends of products and specs.         4)  The aging demographic and the changing consumer attitudes toward car audio and security as just another do-dad and not something new and cutting edge.  Like everything else we become accustomed to the wheel being reinvented every year at CES.      So to answer the question i propose to reword it... instead of is car audio dead ask what has car audio morphed into??  Into the operating protocols and oem electrical systems with out the benefit of mfr assistance or bulldoodie propriotary information with regard to wiring schematics and protocols.  Hell!  This freakin industry caused the car makers to listen and provide these now common features in standard models.  Now we have to dwelve even deeper into the computing/telematic 12 volt magic and without the assistance or help of the various mfr's come up with aftermarket features that will interface seamlessly and add value and bring the WOW factor back to the industry once known as car audio.     5) If all the above makes no sense at all you are either under the age of 25 or don't work in the industry. 

remarkable53
97gss 
Copper - Posts: 235
Copper spacespace
Joined: February 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: November 05, 2008 at 7:57 PM / IP Logged  
remarkable53 wrote:

The question is car audio dead??  As one who has been in the industry 20 plus years i can tell you no it is not..  Like Mark Twain once said.."reports of my death are greatly eggsaturated"  However, what is dead is the old model of how car audio is sold and installed.  No longer can I assume that every car that rolls into my install bays can i replace the head unit, install amps and new speakers and a happy customer drives away forever grateful and happy.  The new model just don't work that way and i feel really sorry for those still in the industry who still ascribe to this business model.  Let me briefly touch on some key points as i see them.  1) The mobil electronics catagory is now middle age and not the young upstart darling of the consumer electronics industry.  As a whole we were the young turks, daring to do things once thought unimaginable in the car. At the beginning there were few products that addressed the need for enhancned high end audio.  But the wow factor was easy to achive and shops started springing up as fast as new products and manufacturers.                              2) The comodization of products, which means that when you see some new hot product at CES you will see in hardly no time at all 10 other companies each selling the identical item, so it was with the in dash monitors and the video explosion.  This of course results in a lower bottom line because who is going to pay $500.00 for widget A when you can buy widget B for $300.00 and they are identical.  There has not been a product that creates customer demand and warm embrace other than iPod integreation.  This commoditization also includes the car makers listening and designing in the vehicle these telematic/entertainment protocols which to Mr Customer is good enough for them.                       3) Internet. .. Need i say more?  For an old single strore brick and morter dinosaur like ourselves we have to reinvent ourselves and our business model every 18 months or sooner.  By that i am referring to price erosion on key products, that are sold via a zillion web sites.  Good or Bad it ain't going away and if one does not only acknowldedge and accept it than there will be no viable solution to deal with this incursion on market share and profit margins and urban legends of products and specs.         4)  The aging demographic and the changing consumer attitudes toward car audio and security as just another do-dad and not something new and cutting edge.  Like everything else we become accustomed to the wheel being reinvented every year at CES.      So to answer the question i propose to reword it... instead of is car audio dead ask what has car audio morphed into??  Into the operating protocols and oem electrical systems with out the benefit of mfr assistance or bulldoodie propriotary information with regard to wiring schematics and protocols.  Hell!  This freakin industry caused the car makers to listen and provide these now common features in standard models.  Now we have to dwelve even deeper into the computing/telematic 12 volt magic and without the assistance or help of the various mfr's come up with aftermarket features that will interface seamlessly and add value and bring the WOW factor back to the industry once known as car audio.     5) If all the above makes no sense at all you are either under the age of 25 or don't work in the industry. 

Well put.  I stopped working in install shops back in 99'.  Still installing some during my free time, but it's definetly different now.  Alot more integration into and working around the factory units, databus, using bypass modules etc.  Definetly not like the old days anymore.  I don't think the business will die, I think it will continue to adapt and evolve.

calijtee1 
Copper - Posts: 121
Copper spacespace
Joined: August 29, 2008
Location: California, United States
Posted: November 06, 2008 at 1:29 AM / IP Logged  
remarkable 53 youre absolutely right..you hit it right on the nail buddy.
installers do it best. we got the magic hands!
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