7 Oct 2005
Auto Entertainment(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 04,2005)
Modern systems offer a vast array of entertainment choices from a simple in-dash CD player or six-disc auto-changer to a DVD player mounted in the back of the front-seat head-rests.
The popularity of in-car DVD players has created a boom for electronics manufacturers, with many leading carmakers like Lexus, Jaguar and Maybach specifying dual DVD players for rear-seat passengers as original equipment.
Hong Kong companies such as Gold Alliance Electronics Co Ltd have been quick to capitalise on the auto-entertainment trend with a wide range of products, including colour TFT LCD televisions, DVD combos, portable DVD players and a B/W TV with radio/CD/CDG/VCD options.
"We manufacture for clients worldwide, and deliver minimum orders of 300 units 45 days after order confirmation," explains director Fanny Wong.
The three-year-old company processes raw materials from Taiwan, Japan and the Chinese mainland at a 31,000-square-metre, 1,200-worker mainland factory in Shenzhen. "Our factory has ISO 9001 certification and our products are FCC-, FDA/DHHS-, CE-, E-Mark- and R&TTE-approved," Wong adds.
Portable LCD TVs with monitors ranging in size from 5-8 inches are big sellers for Vantage Far East Ltd in Europe - particularly Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Greece - Russia, Scandinavia and the US.
They are produced at a six-floor, 2,000-worker factory in Shenzhen that is ISO 9001-certified, according to manager Carol Hui. "The workers include 120 engineers and technicians," she adds.
Three-year-old Vantage Far East produces up to 40,000 TFT LCD television monitors each month. "We have a minimum order of 200 units per model which can be delivered 30-40 days after order confirmation," Hui says.
Targets Technology Int'l Ltd focuses on producing amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers and sound boxes, principally for in-car use, says general manager Ivan Chow.
"Targets Technology Int'l, Champion Well and Bass Warrior Car Audio are all subsidiaries of Yinsheng Car Audio China, the sole distributor of Panasonic automotive audio and navigation systems on the mainland," he explains.
Chow claims in-car speaker and amplifier manufacturer Bass Warrior is the best-selling brand Asia-wide. "We export to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea and Thailand, and even as far afield as New Zealand," he reveals. "We also produce on an OEM basis for a number of major auto manufacturers."
The six-year-old company manufactures at a 70,000-square-foot, 300-worker factory in Dongguan on the mainland that produces 50,000 pairs of speakers and 5,000 amplifiers a month. "Our minimum order is 200 pairs or pieces delivered 30-60 days after we receive order confirmation," Chow says.
Digitmax Electronics (HK) Group Ltd also produces car audio and video products in Dongguan, including DVD players, CD/MP3/VCD combos, CD players, cassette players, equalisers, monitors and amplifiers.
The 13-year-old company has its own Digitmax brand that is popular in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, marketing manager Terence Tai explains.
"Our 1,600-square-metre factory is ISO 9002-certified and produces 100,000 items a month," he says. "They are available in minimum quantities of 500 units delivered 45 days after order confirmation."
Apollo Worldwide Ltd, meanwhile, produces a wide range of tablet DVD players that bear the Next Base brand and are sold under the "Movie & Entertainment Anywhere" slogan.
"We are launching a range of new products at the IFA in Berlin, the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and the China Sourcing Fair this autumn," marketing manager Evon Chow explains.
She says that while most DVD players are powered by a lithium battery, Apollo's new products feature an ordinary AA rechargeable battery that solves the problem of outdoor power supply. "The new SDV-97 model includes a USB and card reader slot that can read DivX format, while infrared, and FM functions are optional," Chow adds.
The 13-year-old company's SDV-97 DVD player is designed to be installed in any car extremely easily, whether in the head-rest, centre console or mirror-mounting stand. "The mirror stand has a patent pending," Chow claims.
Apollo also produces a dual-screen portable DVD system that enables family members to watch either the same movie or a different one simultaneously. "The necessary car connection is very simple, unlike many other products on the market, which often require complicated connection between two DVD players," Chow explains.
Apollo, which has R&D centres in Taiwan and on the mainland, manufactures its extensive range of DVD products at a five-floor, 500-worker factory in Guangdong Province that is ISO 9000-certified.
"We currently sell to the US, Europe, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and the Middle East," Chow notes. "Our minimum order is 500 units and we can deliver standard products three weeks after order confirmation."
The surge in demand for in-car DVD players and highly sophisticated audio equipment is clearly good news for these Hong Kong electronics companies, which are committed to making car travel entertaining.
WRITTEN BY JEFF HESELWOOD
Digitmax Electronics (HK) Group Ltd
Gold Alliance Electronics Co Ltd