In 2019, in-car entertainment volumes decreased significantly, and are expected to continue to decline under persistent pressure from substitute products, particularly smartphones. Amidst the declining trend, the main theme shaping the demand for in-car entertainment at the end of the review period was connectivity.
Given the recent developments in Germany on the connectivity front, in-dash media players and in-car speakers could turn into niche products catering only to tech aficionados or music enthusiasts not satisfied by the OEM equipment. New car models, particularly electric vehicles, generally now come with high levels of in-built technology, making the process of replacing equipment in a car ever more complicated.
Overall, the signs over the forecast period mostly speak against a positive development of in-car entertainment. However, there is a scenario beyond the forecast period or perhaps even before then, depending on technological developments as well as new or changing national or international regulations, under which in-car entertainment could become more important again.
Even though both players recorded double-digit percentage volume sales declines in 2019, TomTom and Garmin continued to dominate in-car navigation, and, in turn, remained the leading players in overall in-car entertainment. Both companies are known for their premium products that offer high quality and accuracy.
Given the role that autonomous driving could play in shaping the future demand for in-car entertainment, it will be crucial how incumbent manufacturers manage to stand out against the competition. The reshaped future of in-car entertainment in the autonomous driving era is also likely to attract new players.
Specialist retailers remained the main channel for consumers when it comes to in-car entertainment purchases in Germany, as most purchases require expertise and buyers prefer to use the service provided by these retailers rather than making a purchase without any prior consultation. While internet retailing is increasing in importance in in-car entertainment, sales remain at a comparably low level compared to other consumer electronics products.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Electronics market research database.