|Type||Public K.K. (TYO: 6816)|
|Founded||Tokyo, Japan (May 10, 1967)|
|Headquarters||Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan|
|Key people||Seizo Ishiguro, President & CEO|
|Products||Car audio and automotive navigation systems|
|Revenue||▲265,054 million Yen (2007)|
|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.
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 which are:
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 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.
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:
The following is a partial list of Alpine Head Units which contained the V-Drive power amplifiers:
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.
Mobile Electronics Magazine
CES Innovations Awards (USA)
EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) Awards:
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.