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Old 22nd July 2011, 23:55   #31
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Smile Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

Very interesting thoughts indeed. My take is that sooner or later manufacturers will give options of what level of ICE the consumer desires. From basic MP3 players to GPS enabled ones, they will offer 2-5 different approved variants of ICE. It really shouldn't be that difficult IMHO.
Personally, I have an Aveo LT as well, and the sound system is A class. Factory fitted is the way to go!
Have a friend who had a horribly bad experience with Caska in his swift. Factory fitted will appeal to 95% of the population, and the rest will go the extra mile for the perfect sound!
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Old 23rd July 2011, 10:51   #32
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Good point mate!

At times, we guys tend to forget that there is a world outside the team. That most car buyers aren't really enthusiasts. Heck, look at how the Fluidic is selling!!!

(No offense meant to Fluidic lovers. It is wonderful city car IMO. The above was for illustrative purposes only)
good one Poitive. I've booked the fluidic and couldn't help laughing out loud at that comment.

The fluidic's OEM HU comes with pre-outs which gives us options to really upgrade the sound with speakers and amplifiers. Wish all car manufacturers give us this option.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 16:24   #33
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

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Originally Posted by Chrome6Boy View Post
good one Poitive. I've booked the fluidic and couldn't help laughing out loud at that comment.

The fluidic's OEM HU comes with pre-outs which gives us options to really upgrade the sound with speakers and amplifiers. Wish all car manufacturers give us this option.
Wonderful spirit Chrome6Boy!! Love it After I posted that, I was wondering if I may needlessly offend some, despite mentioning that there was no offense meant. The Fluidic seemed like a wonderful city car for most people's needs. Wouldn't go more on this, as it would be OT here.

Does connecting an amp and changing speakers and wiring etc affect warranty in the Fluidic?
How about other cars? How does changing a HU or speakers etc affect warranty?

That of course would be a prime concern for many who consider an upgrade.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 20:27   #34
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

Hello Everyone:

Some good insights expressed in this thread and the question raised is quite interesting. I asked myself, would the majority of buyers of small budget cars buy after-market HUs if their cars came pre-installed with OEM? This was based on the understanding, in concurrence with GTO's contention, that most > Rs. 10 lakh cars come with OEM as standard. I think if, an only if, a person is a true audiophile would an aftermarket HU interest him.

The respective "image" of OEM and aftermarket HUs would, in my opinion, have a major bearing on purchase decision. I would argue that OEM carry much more 'aspiration' and 'display' value, regardless of their sound quality. I may be wrong, but very few buyers of Scorpio Vlx actually change their HUs (it is my personal opinion that the Scorpio system leaves a lot to be desired). At least the 7 I know still have their OEMs. The fact that more expensive cars come with OEM further drives the aspiration factor.

The current trend also indicates that buyer preference could be for something which looks OEM. Megaaudio, Caska etc. are trying to capitalize on this consumer insight. Recently, I was informed by the Chevrolet dealer that they do a showroom install of Caska system for the Captiva.

Further, India being a hugely price sensitive market, it will be safe to state that currently a sizeable proportion of car buyers would opt for low budget cars without OEM if that drives a significant saving over an equivalent competitor (in all aspects for the sake of discussion)which offers OEM.

Therefore, in my view, till such time cost considerations preclude installation of OEM by car manufacturers, aftermarket HUs should survive. The day buyer preference shifts and the aspiration and desirability value of OEM overtakes cost considerations even for low budget cars (and we are witnessing this happening now), aftermarket HUs will find the going tough. The only option for them would be to improvise and provide additional benefits whilst retaining the basic OEM character at acceptable costs.

Cheers!
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Old 24th July 2011, 00:16   #35
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

Ideally, I would want to switch my Grand Vitara HU to something that can take iPod/pen-drive and have GPS, etc. But I will lose the integrated look, and the steering wheel audio controls. So, I have left it alone.
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Old 24th July 2011, 01:23   #36
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

1. The installers are not skilled. This is the first and foremost trouble for most people sticking to their stock audio.

2. The grey market, accept it or not is killing the After market Audio market. People buy cheap in grey without warranty, have trouble and stick to stock.

3. All Audio makers are more interested in OEM business these days. I wanted a clarion HU 3 years ago. The response was so pathetic I decided to not get one ever again.

4. Saab has recently gone Android with the IQon. Saab shows off Android-based IQon in-car infotainment system -- Engadget
This is just going to open the market further when BMW, Mercedez-Benz, Audi, Volvo and others go the Open OS route. The day is not far when we will be looking to docking stations in our car where we just plug in our phones/tablets. (I dreamt of making one 7 years ago, wish I had gone ahead then. :P)

5. OEM installed Car audio are good no doubt but I can bet that 60% would upgrade if even offered the option at Dealership level. My Jazz Audio system is Mediocre at best. I would definitely have put in more money for a better system.

6. The Satelite Radio market seems to have really caught up in the US with them collabrating with car makers for OEM installs.

Frankly, Car audio scene has been at a standstill for more than a decade now. The only reason why Carmakers are getting their way with mediocre to slightly better than average stereo systems.
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Old 25th July 2011, 01:20   #37
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

Really good thread.

I had researched a lot before going for ICE. I troubled most bhpians and thank them all for all the help

DerAlte, GTO, Navinji and everyone elses observation are really nice and give a completely new insight to the topic on this thread.

My personal observations -

1. If Tata's vision sees enough market for upgrading a two wheeler consumer to Nano and hence has invested hundreds and thousands of INRs, there is definetly going to be a huge market for non-OE ICE for many more years to come in these segment to 3-5 lakh segment.

2. Being cost sensitive market for specific segment of Four Wheelers, manufacturers will always have ICE as optional, hence the after market option remains open in such vehicles.

3. There are always going to be enough consumers who would not like the OE ICE, hence after market should survive.

4. As pointed out on the thread we are no where in comparison to few countries with respect to ICE market. And I also feel and have seen we do not have the maturity to respect a consumers money and hence see compromises made by well known installers(with respect to work quality) even after paying for what has been asked for.(Hence OE is also here to stay and flourish for peace of mind with respect to factory install quality)

5. Why only look at car buyers, what about other four wheeler categories, they do install after market ICE, as they dont have a factory OE option yet if I am not wrong.(ACE, GENIO, etc)

6. It also reminds me of the anti-trust case on Microsoft for integrating Internet Explorer with no option to remove it or with no option of buying an OS without it. This restricted the growth of other browser developers which led to the anti-trust law suite on MS by the developers (May not be relevant to this topic).
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Old 25th July 2011, 14:08   #38
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

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I was talking to someone interested in developing entertainment + services systems for the automotive after market. He was a bit despondent as his research found that most cars are now coming in with integrated hheadunits and due to warranty issues, most people do not wish to go for visibile radical modifications. ...
So the person is looking to offer services mainly for higher end replacements? As many fellow BHPians said here, the sales volume is picking up for lower end cars that come without ICE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tush View Post
...
5. Why only look at car buyers, what about other four wheeler categories, they do install after market ICE, as they dont have a factory OE option yet if I am not wrong.(ACE, GENIO, etc) ...
But this market will generally look for budget models & cost-conscious. If he looks at lower end market, there are indeed volumes, but then he have to compete with gray market + roadside fitment centers. Not very encouraging proposition.

Otherwise, he have should look to serve the 1% enthusiasts who walk the extra mile, and differentiate with user experience of undergoing upgrades. Specialize and become pricey!

Wouldn't say aftermarket will die. It may get more sophisticated & become a fad after a few years. Just like LP records!
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Old 25th July 2011, 17:06   #39
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Ideally, I would want to switch my Grand Vitara HU to something that can take iPod/pen-drive and have GPS, etc. But I will lose the integrated look, and the steering wheel audio controls. So, I have left it alone.
@Samurai - Have you considered XCarLink?
Suzuki iPod Interface*::*SUZUKI*::*XCarLink

Check with Haneet Anand, who deals with this in Delhi.
Contact - hihaneet@hotmail.com , 09990450210.
I installed one of these on my toyota innova and works like a charm still - approx. 15 months post installation.
It is compatible with both an ipod classic 5G and a Nano.
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Old 25th July 2011, 18:17   #40
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

With OEM HU s coming in odd shapes and so many feeds (temperature etc), it becomes difficult to pull it out and put in a good aftermarket HU. I believe US is a good market for DIY aftermarket stuff simply due to the huge tuner community,cheaper systems, and easy availability.
Now aftermarket HUs are coming with app pairing - where you can connect an ipod and get the apps on the touchscreen HU.
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Old 25th July 2011, 20:53   #41
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

I think:
1) Aftermarket HUs will have their fair share due to the bottom heavy (sub 5 lac) car market.
2) Availability of "kits" should go up to avoid the road-side wire-cutters.
3) Availability of optional ICE levels should go up, at least in the mid and high segment of cars.
4) As a general rule of thumb, a factory-fitted (NOT dealer-fitted) equipment is always better in long term. (this if from my personal experience - I had ICE'd my Civic myself)

On a separate note, why do people think that a sub-woofer in the door won't sound good? On both of my cars, I have subs in the door as part of the OEM setup and they both sound decent. You cannot compare the bass to the one from a closed box but do you really need that? Don't get me wrong; I had 2 JL 10s in my trunk but I was young(er) and unmarried then!
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Old 26th July 2011, 16:42   #42
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

My opinion on this is that both OEM and Aftermarket (AM) units will coexist for quite some time.
Although I do not know the current scenario with respect to this in the Indian car market, the limited knowledge I have living in Brisbane points me to the fact that OEM HU's always tend to be 1 or 2 generations behind the AM ones.
I also feel that it depends on what the majority of the populace wants. In my opinion most people even today want MP3, AuX in as minimum. A few other will want Bluetooth and USB in addition to the above and a more limited few will want DVD, GPS, touch screen etc. The last group are a lot fewer, hence the pricing for those top end units.
On the other hand car manufacurers have finally woken up to the fact that a decent sound system needs to be a part of the whole package and have gone ahead with providing MP3 compatibile OEM HUs with semi-decent speaker systems.
Think of the whole thing as a bunch of STEPS to ICE Heaven!
Its like Technology as a whole is on step 10, high end AM ICE and top end car models are on step 8, Regular AM ICE and mid range car models are on Step 6 and entry level car OEMs are on step 4 or lower.
Step 10 : HUs with SSDs, transparent displays, NFC, multiplatform compatibility (includes Win, Mac, Android etc etc ), infra red drive control, night vision, cameras with sensors etc This is what I envision every car to have !!
Step 8 : Bluetooth, USB, Aux in, DVD, Multiformat audio and video, Touchscreen, GPS, central car control computer display, 8+ speakers with subwoofers etc from high end manufacturers like Bose, JBL, Kenwood etc
Step 6 : Bluetooth, Aux in, MP3/CD changer, mutifunction display, 6 speaker system with/without sub.
Step 4 : MP3 compatible HU with Aux in and standard 4 speaker stereo.
Step 'Lower' : Cassette / CD player with radio and 2 speakers.
Now car manufacturers are slowly getting their act together and clevery introducing bits and pieces from almost all the steps with Mercs, Beemers, Rolls etc leading the way. By the time this technology filters down to people like me who can at best afford a brand new top of the range Accord/ Mazda 6 or entry level Beemer/Merc/ Audi, we are usually left on Step 6 or lower. Now dont get me wrong, I think step 6 in pretty good and offers the majority of us what we require in a decent HU and this sole fact stops us from even thinking of upgrading to an AM one (factor in the cost of installing a decent one with looks, functionailty and performance, getting it to fit in the OEM panel etc), unless we purposely go in for a base model of the car and then upgrade the ICE later.
And finally.... Whew! didnt know I could write so much. lol! from personal experience of owning a 2011 Mazda 6 classic sedan I can tell you all that, the system it has is very good or thats what it seems to my not so trained ears. It belts out hardcore club, house, pop, rap, RnB, and jazz beautifully and I have never once thought of changing anything.
One thing is for sure, AM ICE manufacturers with always need to be a step ahead of mid range car OEMS in bringing us the latest tech if they want to survive and I doubt if car manufacturers are going let us have HU's with all the bells and whistles even if it doesnt cost them much more than the ones they are pawning off as 'premium' in todays cars.
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Old 27th July 2011, 10:21   #43
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Arrow Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

Firstly, with utmost respect to many a findings given above, I strongly disagree (To 'what' I don't know!! But I do).

To even assume that say a company like Alpine will fade away in time, is a serious mis-conjecture. The Japanese could die of a heart attack. Lol!! Just to give you an example, I have taken some figures from the latest annual report of Alpine, Japan and they are given below for your considered opinion:

Net Sales (for the year ended March 31, 2010) were Yen 168,586 million. That particular year Alpine incurred losses to the tune of Yen 1,250 million.


Net Sales (for the year ended March 31, 2011) were Yen 201,257 million. This particular year Alpine has generated income to the tune of Yen 6,030 million.

I have also had a look at its income/sales charts beginning 2003. Barring the years of recession, the graph has only moved upwards.

So of course, there is a trend, and it certainly is upwards.

We must understand that after market quality products are are the F1 of audio markets. The manufacturers ought to invest in technology and innovation in order to be sustainable in this ultra-competitive and cost-sensitive industry.

I believe, that with growing customer awareness and demands, car manufacturers will become sensitive to their needs. Please note when shows like Fifth Gear draw up a top end Audi and top end BMW against each other, lap timings often differ by as less as 1/10th of a second. Since many a difference in driving styles will be more than enough to overcome such nano mechanical advantages, at the end, it must and will boil down to intrinsic factors like interior comfort, gadgetry, music and all other romantic jazz that follows inside the cabin. Therefore, I strongly believe that sooner than later car manufacturers will start investing decent amounts in OEM's. Many have already started walking this road!!

So the next question is what happens to the enthusiast (mind you not an audiophile)?

I think the proportion in which car manufacturers will opt for better ICE will be invesely proportional to after market ICE sales. In other words, for every car sold with a good OEM, after market sales will depreciate.

So will an enthusiast complain. I guess no.
So will alpine complain. I guess no.

However for an audiophile, I guess the situation is a little more taxing. Since his golden ears can distinguish between two top of the line music systems, he might still not be satisfied with a grade 1 ICE system offered by the car manufacturer and he may have to look ahead to the after market alternatives (which will continue to exist). I pity a man who can distinguish sound emanating from a sinfoni and a DLS.

Till all my conjectures come true, I guess we enthusiasts will have to keep our foot down with car dealers and manufacturers re warranty like issues. Its like VW tells me that they will sell me a Vento only with a factory-fitted (ugly) woman. She must stay put in the car at all times (and that too on the dash board) and if i try to throw the ugly-pagli out, they will void my warranty. Sounds strange! No? Either you give me a pretty girl or let me arrange one for myself. Cheers!!
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Old 27th July 2011, 16:20   #44
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

The default set on the Figo is so good, I never considered replacing it. Its good for my needs and contains the connectivity options I require.

Aftermarket HU - there will be a demand for them, but only from Audiophiles. How many among the general population even trust and buy some HU from a shop and get it installed.
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Old 27th July 2011, 16:48   #45
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Default Re: Integrated Head Units - Is this the death of the aftermarket for aftermarket HU's

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Originally Posted by Samridh View Post

To even assume that say a company like Alpine will fade away in time

Net Sales (for the year ended March 31, 2010) were Yen 168,586 million. Net Sales (for the year ended March 31, 2011) were Yen 201,257 million.

I believe, that with growing customer awareness and demands, car manufacturers will become sensitive to their needs. ..Therefore, I strongly believe that sooner than later car manufacturers will start investing decent amounts in OEM's.
The thread intended to discuss the inroads OEM HUs have made into the sales of 3rd party HUs. Companies like Alpine have OEM sales as well as after market sales. Besides companies like Alpine are generating more and more sales from their processors, amps, etc.

I agree that the customer (at least the international customer) is becomming more and more demanding and today expects GPS, ipod compatibility, component tweeters, etc... as available options if not standard fitment. Car companies are very interested in this consumer as accessory sales can be quite significant. The best way for car companies to to ensure the the consumer does not get a 3rd party HU is to offer the consumer features that the 3rd party HUs cant. Companies like Alpine that work with manufacturers will benefit from both OEM sales as well as 3rd party sales.

Even today 90%+ of the car buyers do not care enough to exchange/upgrade their OEM HUs/systems with 3rd party HUs/systems. The <10% that do however are adequate for 3rd party sale of companies like Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer, etc.

As OEM HUs improve (and get more integrated) and the customer get more demanding the amrket will fragment as listed below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
So as more car manufacturers upgrade their ICE systems the market will fragment into 4 sections.

a. those who do not care
b. those who do care and are willing to pay the car manufacturer's absurd prices for their peace of mind
c. Those who do care but want in car integration yet have beer budgets so miagrate to the Caskas of the world. Not that Caska HUs are cheap but prices are destined to fall and fall fast.
d. Those who are willing to sacrifice in car integartion for the absolute best SQ their money can buy. 3rd party Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer, will serve this last segment.
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