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Alpine Electronics, Inc.
アルパイン株式会社
Type Public K.K. (TYO: 6816)
Founded Tokyo, Japan (May 10, 1967)
Headquarters Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Key people Seizo Ishiguro, President & CEO
Industry Consumer electronics
Products Car audio and automotive navigation systems
Revenue 265,054 million Yen (2007)[1]
Employees 9,863 Consolidated
Website Alpine Electronics, Inc.

Alpine Electronics, Inc. (アルパイン株式会社 Arupain Kabushiki-gaisha ?) (TYO: 6816) is traditionally known as an aftermarket car audio and navigation systems manufacturer, famed for their high quality, premium in-car audio units commonly known as headunits. It is a subsidiary of Japanese electronics manufacturer Alps Electric Co., Ltd.

In 2006 76% of Alpine's sales came from OEM business, mainly to premium vehicle brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Acura, Volvo, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover. It is a subsidiary of Alps Electric Co. and its registered head office is in Tokyo, Japan. However its main offices, or the real headquarters, are in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

Established in 1967 as Alps-Motorola — a joint venture between Alps Electric and U.S.-based Motorola — it became Alpine Electronics, Inc. in 1978 when Alps bought out Motorola's share of the company.

Alpine offers a wide range of items, including in-car multimedia, amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers and signal processing equipment. In 2008, Alpine introduced a full line of marine sound system products.

Contents

The five stripes in the Alpine logo were added in the 1990s. Originally light blue to contrast with the letters which were in dark blue, they were later changed to one colour. The stripes are each said to stand for different aspects of Alpine's philosophy[1] which are:

  • Engineering Excellence
  • Manufacturing Excellence
  • Marketing Excellence
  • Service Excellence
  • Partner Excellence

Notable products and technologies

  • 1981 world's first automotive navigation system, created for Honda as the Electro Gyrocator
  • 1982 world's first in-car computerized equalizer
  • 1983 Alpine introduces their first remote control auto security systems
  • 1984 Alpine introduces the Model 9500 Mobile Cellular Telephone
  • 1990 7909 CD Tuner
  • 1991 5700 DAT headunit
  • 1993 7980 world's first in-dash 3-CD Changer/Tuner
  • 1994 world's first speaker utilising DDDrive Technology
  • 1998 world's smallest CD Auto Changer
  • 2001 world's first swivel in-dash monitor
  • 2004 world's first Dolby Digital EX aftermarket in-car product[2]
  • 2004 Alpine introduced the BioLite display technology in their 2004 receiver lineup
  • 2004 world's first company to manufacture a component which can interact with an iPod
  • 2005 First full Class D MOST bus amplifer for the Volvo XC90
  • 2007 introduction of the iDA-x001, the first headunit developed in partnership with Apple to utilise the iPod
  • 2008 introduction of the Imprint sound processor Technology,which allows individual car audio system tuning
  • 2008 introduction of the IVA-W205R Mobile Media Station,which can house a portable Blackbird Navigation device
  • 2009 introduction of headunits which have integral bluetooth handsfree capability with an additional module.

Other innovations have included the Alpine F#1 Status systems and V12 AccuClass-D power amplifiers.

At the Alpine Museum in Japan there is a model "7307" radio/tape recorder (circa 1981) shot by an American (Roger Holdaway of SpeakerWorks in Orange Ca) using a .45-caliber pistol at a distance of 4 feet. The owner, frustrated with the performance of the product, shot the unit and returned it to Alpine. This gesture brought home to Alpine the importance of product quality, and as a result they spent US$25 million on a testing and evaluation centre in Iwaki-city, Japan.

Alpine's iPod Solutions

Alpine was one of the first in the industry to introduce in-vehicle iPod solutions to allow users to control iPod playback using the head unit's front panel buttons or remote; view song information (artist, album and/or song name) on the display; and easily search for songs through the receiver's Quick Searchinterface. Alpine introduced the first aftermarket Interface Adapter for iPod (KCA-420i) in 2004, letting users experience optimized sound quality and control of digital music files in the car. In 2008, Alpine introduced a full line of iPod integration Digital Media Receivers. In 2009, Alpine introduced the first double-din iPod digital media station, the iXA-W404. The following is a partial list of Alpine Head Units and other units which allow integration of your iPod in your vehicle, and allow for access to the iPod library directly from the unit.

  • iXA-W404
  • iDA-X100
  • iDA-X305
  • iDA-X200
  • iDA-X303
  • iDA-X300
  • IVA-W505
  • IVA-W505/P1
  • CDE-102
  • eX-10

Alpine's BioLite Display

Alpine introduced the BioLite display technology in their 2004 receiver lineup, claiming that it provides "a much wider viewing angle than conventional displays and outstanding visibility, even in harsh daylight." The BioLite display can be found on the following headunits:

  • CDA-9835
  • CDA-9855
  • CDA-9857
  • CDA-9885
  • CDA-9886
  • CDA-9886M
  • CDA-9887
  • DVA-9965
  • HDA-5460
  • IDA-X001
  • IDA-X100

Alpine's V-Drive Head Units

The following is a partial list of Alpine Head Units which contained the V-Drive power amplifiers:

CDA-7863
CDA-7864 (2000)
CDA-7875
CDA-7893
CDA-7894
CDA-9813 (2003)
CDA-9815 (2003)
CDA-9833 (2004)
CDA-9835 (2004)

Alpine's Navigation Solutions

With 15+ years experience in navigation, Alpine continues to develop in-vehicle navigation aftermarket and OEM solutions. In 2004, Alpine introduced the NVE-N872A in 2005. The DVD-based NVE-N872A was Alpine's fourth generation satellite-linked navigation system, based on an Alpine in-vehicle navigation platform, which won J.D. Power awards four times in six years. In 2006, Alpine introduced their first portable navigation device, the PMD-B100. In 2008, Alpine introduced the PND-K3, an all-in-one portable navigation plus Bluetooth hands-free system. In 2009, Alpine introduced the PND-K3msn enhances the navigation experience on the road by delivering useful information like traffic and weather updates into the car. The following is a partial list of Alpine aftermarket navigation solutions.

PND-K3msn
PND-K3
IVA-W203/P1
IVA-W505/P1
PMD-B200
PMD-B100
NVE-N872A
NAV-200

Awards

Mobile Electronics Magazine

  • 2009 Best ever CD Receiver - 7909

CES Innovations Awards (USA)

2008:

  • eX-10 Advanced iPod Controller with Bluetooth
  • SPX-17PRO Type-X 6.5-inch Component 2-way Speaker
  • TUA-T550HD HD Radio Tuner
  • KTP-445 with PXA-H100 Head Unit Power Pack with IMPRINT Audio Processor
  • Marine System

2007:

  • iDA-X001 iPod/Media Ready Receiver
  • PXE-H650 IMPRINT Audio Processor
  • IVA-W205 with PMD-B200 Mobile Multimedia Station with Blackbird Portable Navigation Device Best of Innovations, Mobile Electronics category

2006:

  • PLV-7 LAT Powered Subwoofer
  • VPA-B222 VehicleHub Pro Best of Innovations, Vehicle Audio category

2005:

  • NVE-N872A with HCE-100XM DVD Navigation System with XM NavTraffic

2004:

  • CDA-9820XM CD/AM/FM/XM Receiver
  • MRA-D5550 Digital Theater Amplifier
  • IVA-D300 DVD Mobile Multimedia Station
  • DVI-9990 with PXA-H900 AlpineF#1Status System

2003:

  • MRD-M1000 V12 AccuClass-D Mono Amplifier
  • IVA-D900 DVD Mobile Multimedia Station
  • CXA-B200NX MobileHub for Nokia Phones
  • PXA-H700 Multimedia Manager

2002:

  • SPX-Z18T AlpineF#1Status 3-Way Component Speaker System
  • CDA-7998 FantomFace XL CD Tuner

2001:

  • PXA-H900 AlpineF#1Status Multimedia Manager Digital Processor

EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) Awards:

  • 2007–2008 Best Innovation - IDA-XOO1
  • 2006–2007 Best Innovation - Mobile - Vehicle Hub Pro VPA-B222R
  • 2005–2006 Best Subwoofer - Mobile - SWX-1042D
  • 2004–2005 Best Mobile Headunit - CDA-9835R

Alpine F#1 Status - Innovations 2001–2002 (USA), Car HiFi Grand Prix (France), Good Design Award (Japan), Annual In Car Awards 2002 (UK), European Car Audio of the Year 2001–2002.

OEM Navigation USA - the JD Power customer Award 2002–2005.

The 1986 Buick Grand National, modified by SpeakerWorks in Orange, California, is believed to be the only vehicle ever to retire undefeated from the pro division of the national sound-off circuit. The black Buick won the Alpine Car Audio Nationals II Pro Unlimited (751 watts and up) division in 1988, and IASCA's Pro unlimited title in 1989, 1990, and 1991 before being retired by its owner, Richard Clark. Its sound system is composed of five model 3545 amplifiers and the model 7909 headunit.

Alpine show cars

  • Between the early 1980s until the end of the 1990s, when the partnership ended; as well as supplying car audio to Lamborghini, Alpine used their top of the range sports model (Countach, later superseded by Diablo) as a mascot car which featured in every product brochure and trade and public shows. The company's UK office, Alpine UK had a yellow Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Jota with the registration L666 LAM (referring to the Diablo name) which was often seen at shows and events.
  • The U.S. office, Alpine of America, Inc., onward from 2001, commissioned a series of cars, some with custom airbrush and extensively modified bodywork and interior, which is designed to incorporate as many of its products as possible, the cars usually appear in various shows throughout the country. The cars that were used were:

Facts

  • In 1984 Alpine acquired the Luxman brand of high-end home stereo equipment from Japanese Lux Corporation, and tried to merge their Alpine home hi-fi brand with the Luxman brand by co-branding the resulting products as Alpine/Luxman. Because of the differences in the way the products were built (Alpine used mainly standard stainless metals and plastics, Luxman used high end exotic metals) and product lines from both brands were branded Alpine/Luxman it created brand confusion in their markets, and nearly destroyed the credibility of the Luxman brand. The company later sold off the Luxman brand in the early 2000s (making Luxman an independent company again) to concentrate fully on the car audio business.
  • Between 1992 and 1995, Ford Australia offered a premium sound system developed in conjunction with Alpine to their high-end Fairlane and LTD models.
  • In the 1995 James Bond Film "Goldeneye", the Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond featured an Alpine 7817R CD Tuner which acted as a Communication device and doubled as a colour printer/fax.[9]
  • For the past few years, Alpine have sponsored a driver from the Andretti Green racing team in the IndyCar Series. After sponsoring Dario Franchitti in 2005 and Marco Andretti in 2006,[10] they sponsored Tony Kanaan in 2007 and 2008.

References

  1. ^ http://www.alpine.com/e/corporate/five/images/spic_stripes.gif
  2. ^ http://www.dolby.com/ www.dolby.com
  3. ^ 2002 Acura RSX - Featured Cars - Car Audio Magazine
  4. ^ September 2003, Alpine Honda Civic - Competition Corner - Car Audio Magazine
  5. ^ A Ride in the 2004 Alpine Mini Cooper
  6. ^ TunerTricks » CES
  7. ^ http://www.alpine-usa.com/en/fun/P-Lot/Corp-Vehicles/06-Sinster6/
  8. ^ http://www.alpine-usa.com/US-en/fun/P-Lot/garage.php?vehicle=Alpine%20Sport%20Boat
  9. ^ james bond multimedia | Aston Martin DB5 images
  10. ^ Marco Andretti - Sponsors

External links

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