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  • 01 Dec 2011 2:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thursday, December 01, 2011 -- Los Angeles, Calif. – As the 12-volt industry prepares to ring in the New Year, Blackmore Mobile Electronics has announced the availability of its newly-redesigned and re-engineered BAC Series Amplifiers. With several amplifiers to choose from to best fit your vehicle and musical tastes, Blackmore gives car audio fans various options for delivering powerful sounds. Headlining the new series is the BAC-DM70, Blackmore’s premiere digital mono block amplifier.

    The BAC-DM70, a MOSFET mono block amplifier that produces a maximum power of 3200 watts, is designed to provide extreme power to drive Blackmore subwoofers. Like all BAC Series amplifiers, the BAC-DM70 utilizes an effective method of increasing power from a vehicle’s electrical system. This technology gives Blackmore amplifiers the ability to operate impedances as low as 1 ohm.

    Other advanced features for the BAC-DM70 include RMS power of 1500 x 1, variable low-pass crossover, variable bass boost control, chrome-plated RCA inputs, variable gain control and remote subwoofer level controls.

    “Our BAC Series Amplifiers have been dramatically improved inside and out,” said Blackmore representative, Bo Parvizi. “The technological enhancements we have made coupled with the new external looks of the amplifier, like the new Blackmore logo, have been well-received by our dealers and car audio fans. We are looking forward to a very promising year in 2012.”

    Blackmore’s suggested retail value for the BAC Series Amplifiers ranges from $120 to $350. The BAC-DM70 suggested retail value $350. For more information on the entire BAC amplifier series, call toll-free (866) 572-6766 or email boparvizi@blackmoremobile.com.

  • 01 Dec 2011 2:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thursday, December 01, 2011 -- Olathe, Kan. – HushMat, the maker of art sound deadening and thermal insulation technology to the car and truck enthusiast market, has hired Vincent De Stefano as the sales manager for the Western region. The company, founded in 2003, is the only domestic manufacturer of OEM-approved damping material available in the automotive aftermarket.

    "We are pleased to have Vincent join us as a key member of our sales team," said Tim McCarthy, HushMat’s founder. "Vincent’s skills and 28 years of experience in virtually every level of sales is a great addition for our company. Please join me in welcoming Vincent to HushMat. Automotive retail and wholesale customers will benefit tremendously from Vincent’s support."

    De Stefano has more than 28 years of experience in the consumer electronics industry, and has worked in every aspect of the retail structure from floor sales to national positions. De Stefano honed his sales, management and training skills for several companies and their retailers. De Stefano and his family reside in Pasadena, Calif.

    HushMat touts that its materials are the easiest to install and are the highest-performing sound deadening and thermal insulation materials available. HushMat Ultra, a universal sound deadening and thermal insulating material, is easily applied to the sheet metal, plastic or fiberglass surface surrounding the interior of the vehicle reduces interior noise and heat making the vehicle ride more comfortable.

    For more information about HushMat, visit Hushmat.com. Stefano can be reached at (626) 524-5294 or email at v_destefano@hushmat.com.

  • 01 Dec 2011 2:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Facebook IPO Speculation Heats Up

    Media reports surfaced this week that Facebook is gearing up for an initial public offering sometime before April. The leading social network, with 800 million users, is expected to raise $10 billion through the IPO, a record-high for a tech company. Last January, Facebook announced it would be required by U.S. regulators to disclose its finances by April 30, 2012, if it doesn’t go public by then, which now appears likely. According to reports, Facebook is increasing its focus on mobile technology as it looks to leverage the consumer shift to smartphones and tablets. The company expects its next 1 billion users to come mainly from mobile devices, rather than desktop computers. (Washington Post)

    LivingSocial Hires Away Top Tech Executive at Citi

    Online daily deals site LivingSocial is attracting top executive talent, a sign that the company is looking to solidify its place in the industry that includes Groupon and number of others. Dickson Chu, who most recently directed the development of new payments capabilities for mobile, online and tech companies for Citi, has been named as senior vice president for merchant solutions with LivingSocial. At PayPal, before that, Chu was responsible for product strategy and development.

    At LivingSocial, Chu will head up the Merchant Solutions division, tasked with the development and marketing of products and services to meet the needs of local merchants. In addition to the Merchant Solutions division, LivingSocial also named current executive Jake Maas as Senior Vice President of Consumer Businesses, covering all consumer-facing products and services, and Eric Eichmann as President of International, directing all of the company's operations outside of North America. The Consumer Businesses division includes the core LivingSocial Daily Deals, as well as new products like Adventures, Escapes, Families, Instant, and Gourmet.

    Android Browser Just For Kids

    Global software and web services firm Maxthon is releasing an Android browser made for kids. The ‘Maxthon Kids Safe for Android’ lets parents white-list the websites they want to let their kids visit. Proprietary technology then blocks unwanted search results and off-site linking to keep kids browsing within a parent-approved set of web domains.

    The new browser will be found on the first Android tablet designed and programmed expressly for kids, the Nabi, which will be exclusively available at Toys 'R' Us on Dec. 7. Consumers can preorder the $199 tablet on the retailer’s website. Along with its own app store, Nabi also has an extensive library of creative and educational content from the Fooz Kids University with thousands of math problems and thousands of practice questions.

  • 30 Nov 2011 2:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011 -- Austin, Texas – KeylessRide has announced the release of K2, the industry’s first universal automotive keyless entry remote. The universal remote offers the same functionality as the factory original and works on vehicles up to and including the current model year.

    Retailers will appreciate the K2 because it provides access to the lucrative automotive remote replacement market without the large stocking requirement. In fact, the K2 Forge retail system allows retailers to stock a single remote instead of hundreds to achieve up to 70 percent coverage of North American vehicles. Each K2 remote is capable of operating up to two vehicles, significantly reducing cost while lightening up the customer’s keychain.

    The only customer information a retailer needs to configure a K2 remote on demand is the year, make and model of the vehicle. Once configured, the K2 remote is then paired with the customer’s vehicle through a simple 5-minute activation procedure. Since the K2 remote controls the original equipment already present in a vehicle, the activation procedure does not require the installation of any aftermarket add-on modules, another huge plus for retailers.

    The K2 Forge retail remote system will be demonstrated at Booth #2306 of the 2012 International CES, which runs Jan. 10-13, 2012 in Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.keylessride.com/k2forge.

    Secured Mobility is a leading designer and marketer of automotive security products. Founded in 2002, the company supplies the automotive aftermarket with replacement keyless entry remotes, transponder keys and associated diagnostic tools. Doing business as KeylessRide and Street Keys, Secured Mobility has offices in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, Calif.

  • 30 Nov 2011 2:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011 -- Streaming music service Spotify has launched an app store, which will will be available for both Mac and PC users worldwide beginning next week, according to a Spotify executive.

  • 30 Nov 2011 2:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011 -- Elizabeth City, N.C. – Wallace Williams, owner of Street Swag Car Audio at 1185A US Highway 17 South, recently added U Haul truck and trailer rentals to the car audio installation, wash and detail service business he has been operating since September 2011.

    Families needing the finest in moving services now will have increased convenience and a shorter distance to travel when moving, which not only will make their move easier but also will have the positive effect of reducing the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere. U-Haul is partnering with business owners across North America to increase convenience for customers while helping our environment is just one of the programs that support U-Haul's corporate sustainability initiatives.

    Street Swag Car Audio can now offer its customers a variety of moving equipment and supplies designed specifically for moving household furnishings, including moving vans, open trailers, closed trailers, furniture pads, appliance dollies, furniture dollies, tow dollies and auto transports. Street Swag Car Audio also will offer sales items to protect their customers' belongings and make moving easier, such as heavy-duty boxes, which are made of up to 90 percent recycled content and are available in a variety of sizes.

    "U-Haul is proud to be partnering with a quality independent business such as Street Swag Car Audio," said Rich Cowell, president, U-Haul Company of Tidewater. "Wallace is a great example of the type of successful business relationship U Haul has established in order to build and maintain a strong network of more than 15,000 independent dealers across North America."

  • 28 Nov 2011 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Monday, November 28, 2011 --

    Cotton Candy USB Drive, Android Gingerbread Included

    It’s unlike any other USB device, that’s for sure. FXI Technologies’ is prepping the Cotton Candy USB dongle, which runs a Android 2.3 Ginberbread operating system and allows the OS to run in any computer through a virtualization client. So, insert the drive into a computer and Android will appear on the desktop. The drive also has an HDMI connector, so connect a TV and the Android will pop up on the screen. Cotton Candy has a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A9-based processor, ARM’s quad-core Mali GPU and 1GB of RAM. Cotton Candy lacks Android Market since it’s not a Android-licensed device, however. It’s expected to be available in mid-2012 for about $200. (CEOutlook.com via Wired.com)

    Daimler Shutters Maybach Brand

    Citing sluggish sales, Daimler announced it is shuttering the Maybach brand after nearly a decade in business. Although the $350,000 sedan will be no longer, the German automaker will roll out several new models of its flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class in 2013. Mercedes will double variations of the $95,000 S-Class to six as it seeks to boost annual vehicle sales by at least 10,000 a year and step up its challenge to BMW as the world's top luxury-car maker. The forthcoming S-Class models will "replace the Maybach," according to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. (USA Today)

  • 28 Nov 2011 1:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Monday, November 28, 2011 -- Long Beach, Calif. – Kenwood USA Corp. announces the early delivery of three entry-level CD receivers that are part of Kenwood’s 2012 product lineup.

    The KDC-252U, $120 suggested retail price, represents Kenwood’s entry-level price point for in-dash control of iPhone, iPod and mass storage device. The addition of Pandora Internet radio link allows the KDC-252U to choose Internet radio channels, input thumbs up/down and view program data streaming from a Pandora-enabled iPhone (using the white cable that originally came with the iPhone or using the optional automotive-grade KCA-iP102 cable, not included). The Kenwood Music Control app, available in January 2012 for free on the Android Marketplace, allows for the KDC-252U to control and playback music files stored on Android-platform smartphones. One set of preamp outputs provides system building capabilities, including the addition of a subwoofer system which is made possible by an optional subwoofer signal output and a built-in low frequency crossover. A full-function remote control is included.

    The KDC-202U ($110 suggested retail price) will appeal to the consumer that prefers the playback of music files through a low-cost mass-storage device instead of higher-cost iPod/iPhone/iTouch devices. The KDC-202U shares all of the primary features of the KDC-252U minus the iPod/iPhone/iTouch control and built-in Pandora Internet radio link. Kenwood’s value leader is the KDC-152 ($100 suggested retail price), offers a front-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input, one set of preamp outputs and remote control.

    The KDC-252U, KDC-202U and KDC-152 are covered by a limited one-year manufacturer’s warranty and are available through authorized Kenwood retailers.

  • 28 Nov 2011 1:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Monday, November 28, 2011 -- Custom Sounds, a 16-store chain based in Austin, Texas, reported that Black Friday weekend sales were up 37 percent over last year’s totals. Overall, the sales jump was the highest for the car audio specialty retailer in its 24 years in business.

    Custom Sounds President Brian Dorsey attributed the increase to his chain’s membership in Mobile Electronics Specialists Association. “Having the MESA Black Friday marketing materials pre-made allowed us to concentrate our time and effort on in-store merchandising and communication to our staff,” Dorsey said. “Instead of our executive team working on POP, web templates and advertising, we were able to use the MESA marketing materials and devote that time to other activities. We were able to spend more time with the staff on preparation and that made a huge difference for us.”

    Dorsey added MESA e-blast templates are one of the things that drove traffic into the stores: “We sent out e-blasts on Wednesday afternoon, as well as Friday morning. Our response was outstanding.”

    Custom Sounds also attributed a significant rise in gross margin to special offers from MESA vendors that helped to drive consumers into the stores. “We bought deep on promotional items like the Kenwood PW1210 package, DEI Remote Starts, Alpine coaxials, JL Audio JX amps, and Rockford Fosgate R1 loaded boxes so that we could get incredibly aggressive on pricing without killing our margins. While these items helped drive traffic at a slightly higher margin than we were used to, they did not dominate our sales. Since we had been able to spend extra time training staff, we were able to move the bulk of customers up to higher value items and as a result our door busters accounted for only 1.4 percent of sales,” Dorsey said.

    "We feel like we are hitting on all cylinders,” he continued. “We’ve already surpassed our 2010 November same store sales and have seen sales increases in 10 of the 11 months so far this year. Our margins have improved, store traffic is up, and sales are up. We’re looking forward to a robust December and another record year."

    Custom Sounds also reported increases in accessory sales, including radar detectors, window tint, Hushmat sound dampening, SiriusXM satellite radio and backup cameras.

    Click here for MESA's Flickr photo gallery capturing the Black Friday weekend madness.

  • 23 Nov 2011 1:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011 -- Holly Hill, Fla. – Metra Electronics’ patented ASWC interface was among the recipients of 2012 Best New Mobile Electronics Product Awards, which were presented at SEMA Show earlier this month.

    The ASWC Interface utililizes a unique auto-detect and configure feature for accessory steering wheel controls and is manufactured under and protected by US Patent Number 8014920, awarded on Sept. 6, 2011, by the United States Patent and Trademark Office jointly to Metra Electronics and Circuit Works, Inc.

    Metra was also awarded a Global Media Award for the interface after judging at the seventh annual Global Media Awards program. More than150 companies were reviewed by 24 automotive journalists, each representing one of 15 important world markets for specialty products. The writers selected 10 products from SEMA’s New Products Showcase, which they considered would appeal to consumers in their home markets. Winning companies received a Global Media Award, which signifies the global appeal of their products.

    The Metra Electronics ASWC Interface also was awarded the 2012 Best New Mobile Electronics Product Award by SEMA. This award recognizes the most cutting-edge automotive products, and nearly 2,000 new products either on the market or about to hit the market, were submitted for consideration. Criteria that ranked high on the judges’ selection include superiority of innovation, technical acheivement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability.

 

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