• Mar 26, 2011
According to CE Outlook, the price of car stereo components may be on the rise. The report says that even before Japan suffered its earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, manufacturers responsible for automotive audio equipment were already beginning to increase MSRPs. The main source of that surge came from steeper prices for metals like aluminum and copper, which are used in heat sinks and connectors. Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio both increased their prices by March 1 of this year after the cost of materials increased six to eight percent. Manufactures say they expect another increase of similar severity by the end of 2011.

Meanwhile, the tragedy in Japan has delayed or stopped business completely at several suppliers responsible for building car audio components. CE Outlook reports that Alpine has already announced that a number of its suppliers have suffered substantial damage. That damage may lead to delays or additional price increases as manufacturers scramble to find interim replacements.

[Source: CE Outlook]


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  • 35 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      yeah because they're not expensive enough already... greedy bastages.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Whatever happened to Sparkomatic?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Sparks N Static
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you want a bargain basement stereo today, it's a Dual.
        • 3 Years Ago
        +1 eliotsmeliot. only wondered.

        lol DET_rocks
      • 3 Years Ago
      It seems that the price will increase as the number of aftermarket stereo purchases drops with so many new vehicles having stereo systems that are integrated into other functions of the vehicle.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Who needs car stereos? As long as you can plug your smartphone into your system, the headunit is obsolete.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree. You should see the pimp car audio boombox system I made that uses a 4-channel Rockford amp with Blackberry for the source.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Aluminum and copper are not rare earth elements.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Never thought the price of raw material was major contributing factor of MSRP of stereo.
        • 3 Years Ago
        yeah, i wanted to the say the same.
        Aluminum is more abundant than iron, earths crust, but it doesn't exist on its own as a free element.
        but to make it economic viable, you need to find bauxite deposits
        • 3 Years Ago
        The price of aluminum was $0.70/lbs in 2001 and topped out at $1.40/lbs before the recession. It dipped in 2009 during the recession, but has risen to $1.10/lbs since.

        The price of copper was $0.75/lbs in 2001. It's now $4.00/lbs. That price is higher than it's ever been

        Both showed no signs of leveling off before the recession and both look to be back on their indefinite permanent trend upwards. The blogger didn't call copper and aluminum rare, he just noted that prices for them have gone up sharply and continue to rise.
        • 3 Years Ago
        With micro-circuits measured in micron and highly integrated semi conductors drawing a fraction of an amp, today's car radio uses less than 50% of the copper, silver, germanium, and aluminum than ones from the '70s. It is disingenuous to blame the price increase to higher material cost. The folks at Alpine should be embrassed for being such simpletons.
      • 3 Years Ago
      21 year olds will be pissed :P
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yep I also had my after market stereo with the amp and the subs, as had all my friends when we were younger. One of my buddies used to do sound competitions. I don't think one of them has an aftermarket stereo anymore, it get more difficult to install them in modern cars I think?
        @ AlienOpinionm Nice personal attack there buddy, good to see some mature comments from you. Just because I don't agree with your "every car should be electric nao!" means I am naive about cars? I say good day to you sir.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Gotta agree with Redline. I have not bothered to install an aftermarket stereo in my car since I was 19. The money and time needed to install a head unit, speakers, amp, wiring, sound proofing, etc is just too much. Especially when it does nothing for the cars resale. I have a great home stereo system that was well worth the time and money. I'll live with the factory stereo in my car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You don't like a nice high quality stereo?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Willie

        Don't mind, Redline, he is naive as they come when it comes to automobiles, especially methods of propulsion.
      • 3 Years Ago
      people buy these still?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Eric Norsworthy

        I was going to post the same thing... people still buy after-market stereos? Besides if one breaks, I personally don't get the point.

        I sometimes forget to even turn my stereo on and instead listen to the exhaust note.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They do, but it has to have softened a lot over the years. With factory stereos getting better and better and more importantly with them being so integrated into the car less people even bother. I can see Amp's and Sub's still selling but head units are such a pain on newer cars and costly to when things like climate control and heated seats are part of the radio. They'll still sell them to some people but it's not like the easy days of din/1.5 din/ double din.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's still common to double the value of a used vehicle by adding audio equipment (and wheels and spoilers) so... yes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm surprised at you guys! I've worked in the aftermarket mobile electronics industry for 22 years... The scale clearly has you all fooled.. Hundreds of millions of dollars in North America alone.. And the rest of the world is just many times that...

      The face of car audio has indeed changed as it pertains to new vehicles, which is why so many companies exist like Scosche, PAC, Dice, Mobridhe and so on - these companies provide interfaces to let you out a new Nav/Bluetooth deck in newer cars, or upgrade the power and speakers where head unit is too integrated to easily replace..

      We, as an industry just flow and adapt..

      What should really be bothering you is that it's the same factories - the Clarion, Alpine, Pioneer and Kenwood that build most of the OEM radios found in new cars.. So, that, along with the increase in the cost of building the cars computers (credit copper here) and the wire harnesses - you are going to see the rise in the cost of metals directly impact the price of cars...
        • 3 Years Ago
        Edit: that's Mobridge...
        • 3 Years Ago
        I gave up leasing new cars two years ago and love my older cars with my aftermarket audio systems that I have pieced together. Alpine, Kenwood, Rockford Fosgate, MB Quart. Great stuff.

        My wife can keep our new Flex Limited with the fancy SYNC system that cannot figure out audio commands >40mph due to ambient noise.

        Prices can go up, but my RF Punch 200 was purchased in 1994, and my 12" RF Power Woofers and Punch 4080 just turned 16 years old. They keep on rocking. MADE IN USA, BTW.
        • 3 Years Ago
        See - it's logic like that that keeps our industry going!
      • 3 Years Ago
      stock >>>>> aftermarket
      • 3 Years Ago
      People past the age of 21 might still enjoy superior sounding audio in their car
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think after market stereo manufacturers need to be wary because more and more automakers are making it difficult if not impossible to switch them out.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I work in the audio industry and I can confirm that prices have increased substantially lately. The biggest increase we have seen has been the cost of magnets (maybe this is where the "rare earth" part from the article has been translated from). I'm guessing the cost of drivers will go up somewhere between 10-20%.
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