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Sketching the Future
 
At the start of the pandemic, one-man shop Seismic Autosound seized the opportunity to change course in search of ideal clients and a better work-life balance.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
 
Seismic Autosound has partnered with Custom Mobile Electronics in Novato, Calif., merging the two businesses into one. Bryon Jankow, owner of Seismic Autosound, and Marty Barry of Custom Mobile Electronics discussed their respective situations and arrived at the same conclusion: The one-man shop approach wasn’t working for either of them anymore, and they wanted a better work-life balance. Becoming business partners made the most sense.
“I was working alone. So was he. It was 70 to 80 hours a week, non-stop, and that takes its toll after a while,” Jankow said. “Marty’s shop already had the type of clients I wanted to attract. It was a no-brainer for us to team up and take stress off each other, and move forward from there.”
 
Seismic Autosound moved from Concord to Novato, to Barry’s already-established location, and together, they expanded to about 4,000 square feet. Now, the shop is open five days a week and they both have time to enjoy a personal life again.
Jankow recalled the Bay Area going into lockdown for COVID-19 just as his lease ran out.
 
The two have been business partners for just under a year, but they’ve kept their respective shop names the same. “For now, it’s just been about bringing everything together,” he said. “We’re trying to...Read the rest of the story CLICK HERE.
 
 
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June 30, 2020 - North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Association is proud to present interviews and insights with leaders in the Mobile Electronics Industry. Chris Cook, MEA President, conducted an interviewed David Prinz, CEO of GoFast Solutions. He shared his insights and perspective as it relates to GoFast Solutions and the future of the mobile electronics industry.
 
If you missed it, no worries. you can watch or listen by clicking on the link below:
 
 

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In the Groove
David Prinz uses his drive and passion to make every lap count for GoFast Solutions.
 
Words by Jamie Sorcher
 
It’s a classic formula: A high school kid with a passion for car audio gets a job at a stereo shop and, years later, opens a successful business of their own. It’s exactly what happened for David Prinz, the CEO of Middletown, Conn.-based GoFast Solutions. He recalled the makeshift stereo system in his pickup truck, and how he used to drive to a local business—the Sound Company—and talk with the guys who worked there.
 
“I asked what it took to get a job there as an installer,” he said. “They told me I needed a general understanding of electronics, so I went to Gateway Community Technical College right after high school and did a one-year certificate program in electronic technology.” He ultimately got the job and became a salesperson and an installer. From there, he went to....[Click Here to Continue Reading]
 
 
 
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Devil’s in the Details

Apicella Autosound aims to provide detail-oriented perfection in integration and tuning, which has led to fast-paced growth year over year.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
 
Stony Point, New York-based Apicella Autosound began by catering mainly to hobbyists, according to owner Nick Apicella. Now, the shop is drawing a wealthier clientele which he noted tends to have full confidence in the team when it comes to letting them guide the project. While the shop still does custom work with competition-style sound quality builds, the majority is now focused on OEM integration.
 
Until about two months ago, the staff consisted of only Apicella and technician Kevin Mullings. The shop now has a staff of four. Apprentice Kyle Dunn started out as an enthusiast who often called the shop for advice. The newest addition, Matthew Kim, moved from Oregon to join the team. About 90 percent of the business’s projects consist of car audio, with smaller percentages in radar, laser detection and remote start. “We do a few remote starts a week,” Apicella said. “Kevin is very skilled at remote starts and alarms, but we don’t make an effort to do a ton of them.” Tuning is the shop’s main money-maker.
 
From High-End Cars to High-End Sound
When he was younger, a journey to purchase a high-end subwoofer from a dealer in Manhattan opened doors for...Read the rest of the story CLICK HERE.
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North Andover, MA – April 20 , 2021 – Mobile Electronics Magazine features great information for Selling Vehicle Safety Systems for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) brought to you from the Vision Zero Automotive Network.
 
Vision Zero is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of safety equipment in vehicles. Join us as we highlight these technologies and discuss sales strategies retailers can implement today.
 

Educate your clients on how they can protect themselves and their vehicles with dashcam and DVR systems.

Words by Dave MacKinnon

Equipping a car or truck with a dashcam or Digital Video Recording (DVR) system goes a long way toward improving how that vehicle is operated. Whether it’s for a personal application or in a corporate environment, if the driver knows everything he or she does is being recorded, the chances of aggressive or dangerous driving will be dramatically reduced. Better driving behavior directly translates into reduced accidents.

What is a Dashcam?

A dashcam is a compact digital video recording system designed to be mounted to the front windshield of a vehicle. These compact all-in-one systems have... Read the rest of the article HERE
 
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When COVID-19 disrupted business nationwide, 2020 Sales Pro of the Year Jason Kranitz chose to transform this challenge into an opportunity.


Words by Rosa Sophia
After Kingpin University and Kingpin Car & Marine Audio moved from Oregon to Las Vegas in 2019, owner Jason Kranitz quickly booked classes. When COVID-19 hit, he had to cancel classes and refund the students. Additionally, his landlord sold the building, and with no income from the school, his focus shifted to retail.
 
While searching for a new retail location, he’s had to conduct sales and installations out of his manufacturing facility. “No one knew me, I had no showroom—just pictures of previous work—and no one could even visit me because of COVID,” he explained, adding that while the business has been down in numbers, he doesn’t have much to compare it to because of the move. However, he added, “I feel that since we’ve started, we’re growing every month.”
 
Kingpin has been named Retailer of the Year in the past—twice—and has earned other distinctions such as Best Customer Experience. Also, Kranitz has held the Installer of the Year title. Once, he submitted materials for Sales Pro of the Year and wasn’t chosen. Although he hadn’t planned to attempt it a second time, COVID changed his mind because he felt the business was already uniquely structured to handle the challenge. For the last seven years, the shop has been appointment-only with locked doors, unlike many other retail locations. Kingpin University—the education branch of the business—opened its doors five years ago.
 
Kranitz finally decided to pursue the...Read the rest of the story HERE.
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Installer of the Year Justin Kush brings an artistic background to his custom audio builds, continuing to grow and evolve by learning from those around him.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
 
After his first time pursuing the Industry Awards, Justin Kush was named Installer of the Year during December’s KnowledgeFest.Live event. Kush specializes in fabrication at Mobile Toys in College Station, Texas, where he’s now one of three team members who’ve earned the illustrious title. “I’m an artist. I draw a lot and I paint. I went to the Art Institute of Seattle and got a degree in 3D Animation,” he said. “The art side of it, the fabrication, the vision has always been there for me. Being able to explain to a customer what I’m seeing and being able to draw a quick sketch helps out a lot.” Kush has also taken the reins when it comes to creating renderings for clients so they can get an idea of what the end result will look like. He added that the things he learned about video editing while in college also helped him in the process of submitting material for the awards. He uses Procreate to give clients an idea of what he can do for them. “It’s the closest thing there is to drawing with real pen and paper,” he said, though the program provides tools that, once mastered, can also help someone who isn’t an artist accomplish their goals. The user’s hand doesn’t need to be perfectly steady, for example. “The program will fine-tune your work. You just need to know the techniques to bring out your vision. It’s like fabricating: You have the strategy. You just need to apply it.”
 
Thirsty for Knowledge
About 15 years ago, Kush began his career working at Circuit City. “I knew nothing,” he said, adding that he...Read the rest of the story HERE.
 
 
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Blind-spot monitoring solutions inform drivers of nearby vehicles, providing life-saving alerts. To enter this category, begin by understanding what’s available—and outfitting a shop vehicle to use for demonstrations.
 
Words by Dave MacKinnon
 
Continuing our deep dive into collision avoidance system brings us to a discussion of blind spot monitoring systems. Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s worth noting that most consumers don’t know these systems are available as an add-on to their vehicle. As we move through the discussion of the technology, function and installation, think about how you can market these profitable upgrades to your clients.
 
What is a Blind Spot Monitoring System?
 
There are two classes of blind-spot monitoring solutions: camera-based and sensor-based. This article will discuss sensor-based solutions, and we’ll save the camera systems for the next issue. Sensor-based blind spot systems typically use a pair of... [Click Here] to read more.
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In-person training events and trade shows have shifted to online platforms in the wake of COVID-19. Retailers discuss pros and cons of education in a cyber setting, and their hopes for the coming year.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
 
Due to COVID-19, some decisions regarding meeting with retailers have had to be made on a case-by-case basis, according to Mike Lewis of Echo Sales. The company is a rep firm covering seven states: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. “Under normal circumstances, our business is set up to call on independent accounts,” Lewis said, adding that they also host trainings to support retailers. This year, he noted the company started to stock more inventory themselves, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because of all the backorders.
 
According to Lewis, Echo Sales has had to approach their day-to-day business in a hybrid fashion. “A couple of months ago, they removed some local restrictions, but we were still being cautious,” he explained. “We were only visiting accounts with specific needs. I was focusing a lot of my travel around afternoon and evening trainings. Now we are back in more of a hybrid again, not traveling as much, and I’ve put offers out to do Zoom meetings, but most conversations have been on the phone.” There are certain things, he added, that must be done in-person—for example, it’s necessary to visit a new account to see the store. “If we do go somewhere, though, we’re very specific about what we’re doing.”
 
A year ago, the company moved into a new facility with a dedicated in-house training space, but because of COVID-19, only one training has.... Read the rest of the story HERE.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Small-Town Charm

Greg’s Custom Audio, Video & Car Stereo has found its niche by offering something for everyone, with personalized service, multiple 12-volt categories—and even a specialty gift shop.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         From the time he was a teenager, Greg Tackett worked in the electronics business with his father and uncle. The family business persevered as a tire shop, doing mechanical work for 20-plus years. It wasn’t until September of 2007 that Tackett and his wife, Tammy, found a place to rent where they could finally open their own business. Greg’s Custom Audio, Video & Car Stereo welcomed customers for the first time in November of that year in Pikeville, Ky.
 
After years of renting, the business purchased its own building a short distance away from the previous location, opening on the second of January, 2019. This was momentous, Tackett explained, because for eleven years, Greg’s operated out of a single-bay garage that wasn’t even large enough to accommodate a crew-cab truck with the bay door shut. Now, the shop has two full-size climate-controlled bays and plenty of room to expand into additional categories.
 
The building needed a lot of work which is ongoing today. “My wife walked in and said, ‘There’s no way we can do this,’” Tackett recalled. “This was right before Christmas. We had until December 31 to get out of our old place. That day, we got out of our old location at about 10 at night.”
 
Since the community is a small one, Tackett said a lot of people knew the business and the situation, but they also utilized Facebook, Instagram and local radio shows to spread the word. Along with car audio, remote start and accessories, the shop offers truck tires, wheels, powersports, motorcycle and marine audio, as well as home audio and video. As a mom-and-pop retailer, Tackett said all employees chip in when it comes to...Read the rest of the story HERE.
 
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November 5, 2020 - North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Association is proud to present interviews and insights with leaders in the Mobile Electronics Industry. Chris Cook, MEA President, will be conducting an interview with Dunja LaRosa & Rick Kojan of SONY. They will share his insights and perspective as it relates SONY and the future of the mobile electronics industry.
 
You don't want to miss this one!
 
Details: Wednesday, December 2 at 2:00 PM Eastern
 
 
Click on a name below to learn more about:
 
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