"We don't need the next big thing," said Barry Vogel, president of the Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association (MERA) and president of Ultimate Edge, a car audio and electronics dealer and installer in Oswego, N.Y. "Consumers still don't know about most of what we can do for them. One thing our industry doesn't realize is that consumers don't care about all the new technologies and new features. Consumers just want the products to do what they want them to do."
Of course there has been a lot of finger pointing over the last few years, but both the 12-volt dealer community and the manufacturers have accepted the blame for losing touch with consumers and their needs. What's needed now, both sides say, is to come up with concerted ways to drive consumer awareness, which should include a manufacturer focus of providing demonstration units and better training to their dealer base.
"The manufacturers have to talk to their dealers about demonstrating products and about getting the message out," Vogel said.