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Tech Enthusiasts Drive Sales of In-Vehicle Electronics

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Research Reveals Growing Demand for Voice-Activated Communications, Centralized Connectivity for Portable Devices

Sales of in-vehicle consumer electronics (CE) will be fueled by a new emerging segment, the Technology Enthusiast Driver, according to a new study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The study, The Technology Enthusiast Driver Population — Driving the Future of In-Vehicle Technologies, finds that in-vehicle CE sales will grow at an estimated rate of 13 percent to $12.2 billion in 2008.

Technology Enthusiast Drivers are early to mid-adopters of technology and regularly drive a vehicle that is either owned or leased by someone in their household. They are highly interested in emerging technologies such as voice-activated wireless communications, with 61 percent of Technology Enthusiast Drivers identifying the technology as desirable for their vehicle.

“Technology Enthusiast Drivers are the catalysts for the mainstream emergence of in-vehicle technologies,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis. “Their interest in these technologies reveals opportunities for manufacturers to meet the needs of the larger consumer population.”

As previously reported in CEA’s Automotive Electronics — What Consumers Have and What They Desire (February 2008), consumers are increasingly bringing portable CE devices into the vehicle. Technology Enthusiast Drivers almost always choose portable devices, with 98 percent owning at least one CE device not permanently installed in the vehicle while 89 percent use their portable CE devices in the vehicle.

“As more consumers use portable CE devices in-vehicle, it’s logical that the next step is a centralized system to help manage all portable devices,” Koenig said. “Our research found that 57 percent of Technology Enthusiast Drivers would like to be able to connect all of their portable devices wirelessly to a centralized vehicle entertainment and communication system.”

The study also reveals the effect of hands-free laws on Technology Enthusiast Drivers as well as the impact of travelling with children on CE device usage in the vehicle.

The Technology Enthusiast Driver Population — Driving the Future of In-Vehicle Technologies (November 2008) was fielded in September 2008 and is CEA’s second study providing in-depth insight into in-vehicle electronics this year. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The complete study is available free to CEA member companies. Non-members may purchase the study for $699 at http://mycea.ce.org.

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $173 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,200 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES — Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org.

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