Dealerscope Publisher Tony Monteleone welcomed a connected car dynamic duo to Insider Talk recently in the form of Aron Demers and Brett Solomon.
Demers is a 27-year consumer electronics industry veteran who was appointed as Senior Vice President of VOXX/ Hirschmann Automotive Aftermarket in March 2016. Solomon is Dealerscope’s regular Connected Car columnist and general expert on all things automotive-tech-related.
Solomon began the discussion by jumping right into the recent VOXX acquisition of Directed Electronics. VOXX specifically acquired the aftermarket vehicle remote start and security systems (“RSS”) and connected car solutions (“CC”) businesses of Directed.
Directed has been VOXX’s primary competitor in the North American RSS business for years, and to a lesser extent, in the CC segment (telematics). Now, the combination of assets provides VOXX with a stronger offering for its customers, while also expanding its distribution network.
“We’ve always been friendly competitors with Directed over the years, and we have looked into an acquisition of Directed a couple of times over the years,” Demers began. “But now we were fortunate enough to put together a deal. And with the pandemic, we put this deal together 100 percent virtually, and that’s a first for us.”
Regarding the motivation for buying Directed, Demers added, “As the world’s largest remote start aftermarket supplier, Directed has a great distribution face. Directed over the years really covers all different channels of the business – the small mom and pops, the distributors, the key independents, as well as the big-box houses. We love the diversification of their brand.”
When it comes to the future for VOXX, Demers is thinking about being ready for the post-COVID world, as he says. “We are seeing a lot more customers now electing to drive their vehicles rather than fly. It’s become such a challenge for a family of three or four to get through an airport today. So vehicle travel is up, and they are looking to add more and more gadgets to that vehicle to make that ride more enjoyable.”
And Solomon, quite the car aficionado, couldn’t resist asking Demers what is lurking in his garage these days.
Along with a golf cart, Demers admitted to owning a five-speed, 1998 Mustang convertible, that he explains, “is pretty tricked, and I’ve added some pretty cool things to the engine that makes that thing roar.”
Our guess is the “Stang” hits the open road more frequently than the golf cart.
To check out the full discussion with Aron Demers of VOXX, click here.