It's Time to Believe
The definition of magic is the suspension of disbelief. Today, many in the automotive electronics industry believe the resurrection of the traditional car audio category would qualify as magic.
Let’s face it, we have been bombarded with surveys and reports chronicling the fall of traditional car audio. We have certainly witnessed the free-fall in category sales. The reasons range from greatly improved factory audio systems to greatly enhanced choices for discretionary spending to the iPod. Those $5 speakers that came with the car sound “good enough.” We have been told that connectivity and iPod integration is our best hope. But what happens in a few years when every car coming off the production line has an iPod interface and Bluetooth as standard equipment? And what happens when open architecture databus interfaces are standard, which they eventually will be.
A common misconception in our industry is that the independent specialist created the car audio industry. That’s incorrect. The hobbyist—the kid working on his sound system in his backyard with his friends—created this industry. The contagious excitement in getting it all working and sounding great attracted more kids. Before we knew it, we were capitalizing on mainstream trend. Carry-out sales led to installed sales as systems became more complex, and many who wanted the same sound as their friends did not want to attempt do-it-yourself installation. All was good.