Driven By Change
The conversion of the digital revolution with the 12-volt market has not always been pretty or profitable. Add rising gas prices and the decline in new cars sales to the mix and you have some custom installers wondering if the glory days will ever return. Maybe not, but there are plenty opportunities for those prepared to embrace new digital technologies, maximize their sales, promote their stores and expertise, forge new partnerships and adapt to changing consumer expectations.
The numbers point to the opportunities: almost 40 percent of all drivers want to buy and install an in-vehicle CE product over the next year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. At the top of the list are remote vehicle starters, in-dash navigation/GPS systems and car alarms.
“The good news is the 12-volt channel has worked through the denial and the anger phase, and moved into the acceptance phase of what’s happening in their market,” said Steve Koenig, senior manager/industry analyst at CEA. He stressed that in today’s retail landscape, independents have to focus on the installation and integration of full solutions, rather than one-off product sales.