Chris Walker, Vice President, Product Development, and Andrew Jones, Vice President, Engineering, ELAC America LLC, talk about about how this German speaker brand is being presented to the American consumer.
Q: You both boast distinguished careers at Pioneer. What do you bring to ELAC in its drive to re-enter the North American (and more specifically the) U.S. market?
A: Both of us were hired by ELAC Germany to establish a North American subsidiary of ELAC and to re-launch ELAC into North America. Currently ELAC is not a well-known brand in the U.S. Our plan with the Debut series is to gain brand presence through the launch of a high-performance value-priced line of speakers. Andrew and I were chosen by ELAC based on our previous success with both the entry-level and ultra-high-end speakers for Pioneer and TAD (Technical Audio Devices).
Q: Please provide our readers with a little bit of the background and heritage of the ELAC brand in Germany – and how that groundwork sets the stage for the brand’s North American/U.S. market return.
A: ELAC is based in Kiel, Germany, and will celebrate their 90th anniversary next year. ELAC began with work in Sonar and transitioned to electronics and consumer goods in the late ’40s. They became best known for their higher-end turntable line named “Miracord.” In 1957, they were issued a patent for inventing the first stereo moving magnet phono cartridge. In 1984, they entered the high-end speaker market and have been there ever since, with a large presence in Europe and Asia.
Q: With so many speaker brands available in the U.S., what market niche will ELAC fill that is not already being filled by other brands?
A: For speakers, our plan is to deliver several speaker lines that deliver performance far exceeding their price-points. Andrew’s years of research and knowledge will be the driving factor for this plan. Also, we will not limit ourselves to just speakers. We plan on launching affordable high-end electronics by the end of this year.