Mobile Electronics Shift Gears
Keith Lehmann, senior vice president, Kenwood: It’s important, but only in the way the independent has realized the changes in the business due to the changes in the customer. Independents with mindsets that have not fully embraced the new technologies and still sell only classic audio [are not following] a sustainable business model. They have to embrace connectivity and be ready to talk about how customers can connect devices to their stereo systems.
There’s a caveat here; it’s an opportunity only if the independent dealer is ready to embrace a new customer profile and learn how to talk to them. There’s a huge generation out there with no proper musical reference. A well-demonstrated system can convert the casual listener into a rabid enthusiast. OEM systems are not half bad, but there will always be a threshold they won’t cross.
Dealerscope: What’s the most important thing your company has done in 2009 to help improve dealer profitability?