Kenwood Comes Through
Most of us writing about the industry have had experience in the industry. Because of that, we are subject to be biased because we love what we're doing. While working the sales floor, there are a lot of brands, but some just become salespeople's favorites because of the good numbers and the fact the product works well from the get-go from both consumer and installer perspectives. That's why I loved selling Kenwood. So, yes, I am biased. You probably are too!
The legend reveals that back in the day, the Japanese company wanted a name American consumers would flock to. So they looked at Kenmore appliances, which, way back when, were deemed to be bulletproof. The 'wood' comes from Hollywood, so mix durability and entertainment and you get Kenwood.
Keith Lehmann, Senior Vice President of Kenwood, wants to promote stopping the race to zero. After all, when the landscape of products from the OEMs have rich feature sets that customers have no problem shelling out $600 or more (and this is on top of the cost of the standard OEM system which deserves some monetary 'credit'), why can't we charge half of that for robust aftermarket product? As such, certain Kenwood in-dash models have been doing really well. The top-of-the-line DNX9980HD (ASP $1,800) has been moving particularly well for a statement piece. However, it has features the competitors are lacking. The DNX9980HD features HD Radio, Garmin navigation, Bluetooth, Pandora, and voice recognition. But the icing on the cake is the $300 rebate from Garmin – customers can take advantage of it while still keeping your selling price high. Yes, rebates are sometimes annoying to the customer, but $300 is quite an incentive for the buyer to fill out the paperwork and buy a stamp. At the $1,500 level, the unit is a no-brainer for any serious enthusiast or opinion leader who wants the best.