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It is with a deeply heavy heart that I write this next news piece. After thirty five years in the UK, the Clarion GB Ltd., car audio company has been directed by their parent outfit in Japan to cease activities in the UK aftermarket. This means Clarion car audio as you and I know it, will no longer be available. From the 30th June, all staff are no longer going to be there.. here is the text of the letter that has gone out today. (Source protected.)

“Dear (dealer’s name here, source witheld),
This is a letter of extremely mixed emotion because it is to announce the end of an era and the dawn of a very exciting new age.

Our head office in Tokyo Japan has recently announced that it is going to further expedite and concentrate its efforts on developing safety and information products, such as for example, automated parking, autonomous driving and likewise, service related solutions; this will enable them to assertively advance their market share in what can only be described as one of the most fastest (sic) expanding technological arenas in the automotive industry.

This direction however also fundamentally means a phased breakaway from what are perhaps best termed as traditional products and it is with deep sadness that the company’s Board of Directors have, in line with Clarion group strategy, decided to terminate its retail sales activity here in the United Kingdom, where our predominate strength is within the OEM sector.

This decision is specific to the United Kingdom and is due to the esoteric structure of the market in this region, which means neighbouring European countries are not affected by this strategic action.”

The letter then has a subheading, “How will this affect you?” and continues “You will be able to continue purchasing Clarion merchandise from us until 16th of June 2017.” Then there is stuff about the accounts side and after that, “…the warranty on all products from Clarion GB Limited will of course be fully upheld by our warranty exchange centre that’s located in France, so there will be no significant change in the service support that you currently receive.

Our authorised out of warranty agents, Clarion Service & Parts Centre UK, Will continue to provide its excellent post warranty services, so again no change.

Whilst Clarion GB Limited will continue to operate in the United Kingdom, the aftermarket team with whom you regularly liaise, namely (and here it names everybody from General Manager to logistics, via sales and all admin).. will from 30th of June 2017 no longer be here.

With the latter in mind I would personally like to sincerely thank you for the support and friendship that you have extended to me over the past 35 years. It has been an honour to have worked with you. My colleagues and I will of course miss you tremendously and we wish you every success in the future. Needless to say, if you have any questions with regard to this historic change these do not hesitate in contacting the aftermarket team.”

So there we have it, I am yet to find if there will be any official statement to the press, but sadly in utterly pragmatic terms, I could not see them really needing to. After all, the high level stuff the OEM department does, is often wrapped up in Non Disclosure Agreements, so even with excellent relationships with the suppliers, as a journalist, I am constrained not to write directly about what they do but rather from the point of view of whole cars..like the KIA KX-5 Sportage I have on the drive right now, to report on the electronics.

There is no way I will be stopping writing about this stuff.. the mad end has never been madder and while there are Russians like Alphard able to make 160dB seem ‘normal’ and Celsus with JL Audio and so much other cool kit, to play with from other folks, we will be here. And audio will be my first love, with more other stuff around the edges….but expect more cars…

In the meanwhile, my career in the aftermarket has long felt like I was Captain Jack Sparrow arriving at Port Royal.. recall the scene? Here it is.. I am Cap’n Jack, the boat is the aftermarket…

Adam Rayner On Line Editor


What I'm finding bizarre is that our European friends just over the channel will still continue to stock these products - Its just specifically the UK market??!!  How odd.



Shame, crazy to think they are closing over here, but they are developing products for the Canadian market only (Amps with built in DSP)


The NX807 should have been a hit with SQ aftermarket, with its variable optical out