Dealerscope 2018 Hall of Fame Inductee: John Shalam
Few brands in the consumer technology industry are more synonymous with car audio and car electronics than VOXX International. Founded as Audiovox Corporation in 1965, the brand has seen its portfolio evolve from simple car radios and 4- and 8-track players to car security and now autonomous driving technology.
What’s ironic about VOXX, though, is that, for all of the good deals, acquisitions, and other moves founder John Shalam—a 2018 Dealerscope Hall of Fame inductee—has made in the last 60 years, it’s one deal that went sour before he even formed Audiovox that ultimately led to his starting the company.
“It’s a long story,” Shalam said, laughing when asked about the bad break. Boiled down, though, it involved Shalam—who at the time was importing car radios from an overseas factory—having to unload a few thousand radios after a customer reneged on a deal. Shalam was ultimately able to find enough interested buyers to take the rest of his inventory, but in doing so realized that he might have a real business opportunity on his hands.