Mobile Electronics Shift Gears
Turner: Virtually all manufacturers have focused on iPod connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, USB connectivity and so on. As an example, the 2009 JVC mobile entertainment assortment of product has been focused on iPod-type functionality.
In navigation, our KW-NX7000BT features a 7-inch touchpanel screen with a built-in proximity sensor.
JVC has been a major supporter of HD Radio since its initial introduction into the marketplace. We are represented in the market with the HDR50. Our lineup of A/V receivers for 2009 has been expanded to five models ranging in price from $399 to $659 suggested retail; the KD-AVX77 is the industry’s first widescreen product, offering four viewing modes, including Cinemascope and split screen. All of our A/V products include our proximity sensor design.
Thomas: Dealer feedback has been positive. Market trends show there’s a shift toward navigation-centric products, both portable and in-dash. iPod connectivity is still very important. Lots of dealers in focus groups talk about the need for Bluetooth because it’s becoming a legal issue in many cases, so we have a number of different [types] of those products this year. We’ve also been very focused on HMI [Human-Machine Interface]—larger buttons and even rotary knobs are coming back. Their simplicity allows for more of a focus on the road. Also important are displays, because of all the metadata out there. People want larger displays. One product Clarion has that we internally call the “OEM Radio”—the DUZ385SAT—has just been revised with Bluetooth and step-up features. There’s also been a renaissance in double-DIN. It’s become more prevalent because cars have larger openings now. You’ll see the uptake on the nav and A/V side going to double-DIN, while some of the lower price-points go to flip-out screens.
Mirabelli: Independent dealers, for the most part, are always looking for improved performance in distance, range and reduced falsing in radar detectors. Our XRS R8 and XRS R10G digital radar/laser detectors offer two primary benefits: they’re easy to install and have unique performance characteristics. Both are installable behind a mirror and are controllable with a wireless remote. The R10G, at a $100 premium, comes with a GPS tracking device that can locate speed cameras through our Aura database and through our Intelliscope technology. It can track whether a camera is in the driving path or off to the side, which reduces falsing.
We also have home Internet radio products—part of what we’re doing as a company to expand our business base.