Alpine Electronics

Alpine Electronics

company_name = Alpine Electronics, Inc.
company_type = Public K.K. (tyo|6816)
foundation = Tokyo, Japan (May 10, 1967)
location = Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan
key_people = Seizo Ishiguro, President & CEO
revenue = gain265,054 million Yen (2007) [] | industry = Consumer electronics
products = Car audio and automotive navigation systems
num_employees = 9,863 Consolidated
homepage = [ Alpine Electronics, Inc.]
nihongo|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, high price in-car audio units commonly known as headunits. It is a subsidiary of Japanese electronics manufacturer Alps Electric Co., Ltd.

In 2006 Alpine's turnover came 76% 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.

Corporate vision

In 2005, Alpine changed its corporate message from "Discover the Future of Mobile Media" to "The five stripes in our logo symbolize the five major areas of our operation and the policies to which Alpine, as a dedicated in-car equipment manufacturer, is committed. The phrase "Mobile Media Solutions" exemplifies our unwavering and ongoing commitment to pioneer the next generation of electronic systems for the automobile and enhance mobile lifestyles for all drivers and their passengers."

Company logo

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:
*"Engineering Excellence"
*"Manufacturing Excellence"
*"Marketing Excellence"
*"Service Excellence"
*"Partner Excellence"

Notable products and technologies

*1981 world's first automotive navigation system
*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 []
*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

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 (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 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:

Alpine's V-Drive Head Units

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

CDA-7864 (2000)
CDA-9813 (2003)
CDA-9815 (2003)
CDA-9833 (2004)
CDA-9835 (2004)


EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) Awards:
*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, 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 SV with the registration "L666 LAM" (referring to the Diablo name) which was often seen at shows and events.
*The U.S. office, Alpine USA, onward from 2002, commissioned a series of cars, with custom airbrushed 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:
**2002: Acura RSX [ [ 2002 Acura RSX - Featured Cars - Car Audio Magazine ] ]
**2003: Honda Civic [ [ September 2003, Alpine Honda Civic - Competition Corner - Car Audio Magazine ] ]
**2004: MINI Cooper [ [ A Ride in the 2004 Alpine Mini Cooper ] ] Unlike previous models, which were closed top, the MINI was more of a speedster, with low rake windscreen.
**2005: BMW X5 [] , was a car that was used previously as a project car [ [ TunerTricks » CES ] ] , the car's bodywork has a mural of musicians from the last 50 years, they include Ray Charles, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger and Bob Marley to create an illusion of how their music will sound with their products.
**2006: BMW 645 (aka Sinister 6) []
**2007: IMPRINT RLS (based on the Mercedes Benz R500)
**2008: 25' V-Bottom Alpine Sport Boat trailered by a 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL550


*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. [ [ james bond multimedia | Aston Martin DB5 images ] ]
*For the past few years, Alpine have sponsored a driver from the Andretti Green racing team in the Indy Racing League. After sponsoring Dario Franchitti in 2005 and Marco Andretti in 2006, [ [ Marco Andretti - Sponsors ] ] they are sponsoring Tony Kanaan in 2007.


External links

* [ Alpine Electronics Global Website]
* [ Alpine Electronics of America, Inc.]
* [ Alpine Electronics of Europe, Inc.]
* [ Alpine Electronics of France, Inc.]
* [ Alpine Electronics of Japan, Inc.]
* [ Alpine Electronics of China, Inc.]
* [ Alpine Electronics of Australia, Inc.]
* [ Alpine Electronics F#1 Status Special Site]
* [ Alpine Sound is a special site discussing Partners, Technology & Alpine's commitment to being at the forefront of in-car entertainment development.]

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