Reading The Mobile Road Map
Challenges and opportunities for mobile electronics retailers, and the aftermarket manufacturers who supply them, have never been greater. In less than 30 years, the automobile has morphed from a way of getting from here to there into a communications and entertainment hub that mirrors the driver’s home in almost every respect except square footage. And the aftermarket products that have made it so are all subject to the same market influences as their home-bound counterparts, plus one: Each innovation that shows up in the car is bound to be copied and eventually eclipsed, sooner or later, by OEM offerings. Dealerscope polled suppliers for their market observations and for the strategies they are putting forward to keep their retailer customers profitably ahead of OEM in the market development curve. What they had to say follows.
Dealerscope: How has your overall mobile electronics business been over the past year?
Steve Witt, Alpine: Our aftermarket business is bucking the trends. We have gained share in the total mobile electronics business, and that primarily is being driven by our aggressive position in connectivity. It has to do with the decision we made five years ago as we watched carefully the introduction of the iPod. It could no longer be “the world according to Alpine.” We took a leap of faith and entered into a development agreement with Apple to provide the industry’s first iPod connectivity.