Ed Sachs, Pioneer Electronics Mobile Business Group
Ed Sachs’ corporate biography states he’s “responsible for the financial well being of the mobile electronics business for Pioneer in the U.S.” Unstated in that summation is that Sachs, widely regarded as a 12-volt visionary, has also taken on a large measure of responsibility for the well being of the whole mobile industry.
“Ed had an idea for a summit of industry players to discuss the future of 12-volt,” said Barry Vogel, MERA president. “This, of course, became the 12-Volt Summit. It takes a visionary to see beyond the corporate walls and to acknowledge that individually we can accomplish some things, but together we can accomplish anything. We’re fortunate to have Ed involved in charting our collective future.”
Sachs has always sought better and quicker ways of doing things, ever since he started answering phones in his father’s Indianapolis radio and TV repair store. “That was my entreé into the business. I got interested in electronics through him—primarily sales—because I always liked seeing immediate results,” said Sachs, who began working for his father when he was eight. “I couldn’t work on the school yearbook or things that took a long time in developing. I played sports and was on the debate team in high school. Those things had time limits—you either won or lost and could see immediate results.”
The sales bug bit hard after a three-year stint in Vietnam, when Sachs, working at an electronics store, went on a call with a salesman. “Being on the road, out of the office, away from the daily grind of being inside, was really alluring to me,” he said. “You knew at the end of the day if you’d made any money.”
A sales contest he won brought him to CES in the early ’70s, which in turn led to starting a Panasonic car stereo distributorship in Georgia. “I got some money from the SBA, put together a company there and then in 1973, with the first gas crisis, went from selling 400 units a week to selling three. That’s when I discovered the importance of capital.