Reading The Mobile Road Map
Dealerscope: Is video in the car as an impetus to installation sales past its peak?
Witt: Mobile video is on a rapid decline. We decided three years ago that we would be in the game, though, and offered a step-up product, that we would focus on delivering high performance and not chase price, and would ride the category. But here we are today, and it’s down 20 percent industrywide, primarily because the OEMs now have either a factory option or a dealer-installed option to address this category. And the simple consumer fact is if you can make it simpler for the customer to get it, and it’s a factory-branded system covered with the full vehicle warranty, and the cost gets rolled up into a payment, that’s pretty tough to beat. In mobile video, there is still some opportunity, because not every car offers it, and there are certainly opportunities to deliver a more advanced technological solution—things like satellite dishes in the car. OEMs won’t offer that for a long time. Or, one of our strategies, to keep rear-seat products moving, has been to introduce a video iPod interface.
Warren: Just from looking at the numbers it would suggest that this business has at best flattened out. It’s still a sizable business, though, and should remain so for many years. With millions of video iPods in the marketplace and mobile satellite television tuners coming down in price and size, we are likely to see more video integration into the vehicle, rather than less.