CYPRESS, CA (03.29.2016) – The 12volt industry received surprising news on Monday morning, March 28th. Clarion is saying goodbye to the traditional car audio brick-and-mortar 12volt marketplace in the U.S.
The distributor network, plus the traditional 12volt brick and mortar retailer channel, is no longer in Clarion’s U.S plans. Instead Clarion car audio products will be available to consumers via online retailers Amazon, Crutchfield and Sonic Electronix. Reports are Clarion’s car audio strategy remains unchanged in Canada and other countries around the globe.
Clarion will continue marine audio with its present go-to-market strategy.
As to be expected there are bridges to be crossed as Clarion works with distributors and dealers. A number of Clarion staff members on the 12volt side are “seeking new opportunities,” and some have moved to Clarion’s OE and Marine businesses.
The reaction from some 12volt retailers has been fairly vocal as they recounted Clarion’s ‘reps, no reps, in-house and sign up now because the line will be so strong next year’ approach to the marketplace across the U.S.
“I regret Clarion’s departure from 12volt brick and mortar scene. Their presentation at CES 2016 was very impressive and I am sure very, very expensive. The Clarion brand had a lot to offer. But like so many companies it seemed their approach was cut the price, cut the price and cut the price. Marketing support, trade or consumer, was not part of the go to market strategy.”
-Mike Van Horn, 12voltnews.com
This move by Clarion comes in the middle of the distributor show season. It remains to be seen exactly how distributors and dealers will handle Clarion’s departure from the brick and motor scene. Initial indications are that “divorce may be complicated.”
Visit www.clarion.com/us/en for more.