Reading The Mobile Road Map
Braun: Those of us who have been in the mobile electronics business for a long time have heard this comment regarding OEM many times. In my mind, as OEM offers more options, it only creates greater awareness and demand for aftermarket innovation.
Duffy: We’ve always tried to focus on and provide a level of support that can assist the dealers. We have a pretty broad technical support staff here that’s focused wholly on it with 24/7 support, for security or remote start installs, or any other product, for that matter. We have a wiring database of 5,000 vehicles and are adding to it every month, as new cars roll out. We also started a school here called the Snake PIT, about two years ago—“PIT” stands for Professional Installation Training. They provide MECP-certified training there, and it’s dedicated to helping people who either want to get into the business or who want to hone their current skills. We provide security, remote start, car audio, video, and sat radio training, including fabrication. That’s definitely a big part of our commitment to the industry. We have dealers who send people, and also kids right out of high school who want to be installers.
Warren: The biggest challenge car audio retailers face today is the risk of missing the transition from traditional in-dash electronics to OEM integration products. Retailers are so used to dealing with in-dash change-outs, it’s a difficult habit to break in the qualifying stage of the sale. Changing these habits is the primary focus of our training effort this year. We believe that dealers that grab hold of this opportunity will prosper. Our JBL and Harman Kardon brands offer groundbreaking OEM integration products that will deliver over the next weeks and months. These new products will allow dealers to offer clean sound and a great user interface in a way that customers want and that can be added to any vehicle whatsoever. No vehicle need be turned away.