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History of Clarion

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Mapping Out the Future as we Move from Front-Runner of In-Vehicle Device to Trailblazer of the New Era
It is no exaggeration to say that Clarion’s history is closely bound to the history of the automotive industry itself. Since the earliest days of in-vehicle devices, Clarion has consistently been an industry pioneer, launching Japan’s first car radio as well as Japan’s first car stereo. We identify drivers’ needs and support them through our sound technologies, continually drawing on our abundant creativity to deliver unique products to our customers. Having evolved from car radio and AV systems to car navigation systems and beyond, the in-vehicle device sector is now entering a new era of change, filled with exciting potential. Reflecting this change, Clarion is also evolving from being an In-Vehicle Device Manufacturer to an In-Vehicle Information Solutions Provider.

1940 - 1969

1940 December 1940 Established as Hakusan Wireless Electric Company in 21 Hakusanmae-cho, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; begins manufacturing battery-operated household radios. Paid-in capital: ¥180,000.
November 1943 Merges with Takizawa Wireless Electric Industries Co., Ltd.; renamed Teikoku Dempa Co., Ltd. 
1948 Develops and launches Japan’s first car radio and bus loudspeaker device.history16_01
1950 1951 Launch of Japan’s— and Clarion’s— first original radio, Hino Renault’s “Le Parisien.”history16_02
February 1951 Develops and launches Japan’s first car radio. 
June 1958 Exports car radios to the US, creating the foundation for today’s car audio exports from Japan.
May 1959 Car radio receives genuine parts designation from Nissan Motor. 
1960 August 1962 Teikoku Dempa listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. 
October 1963 Japan’s first car stereo developed and launched in August of the following year.history16_03
September 1967 Saitama Office opened in Toda-shi, Saitama Prefecture. 
March 1968 Japan’s first cassette car stereo launched.history16_04
August 1969 Teikoku Dempa listed on the second section of the Osaka Stock Exchange.

1970 - 1989

1970 February 1970 Teikoku Dempa upgraded from the second to first section of the Tokyo and Osaka stock exchanges.
April 1970 Head Office opened in Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. 
December 1970 Trade name changed to Clarion Co., Ltd. 
December 1970 First overseas factory (CM) established as a joint venture in Malaysia. 
June 1975 Launch of the Clarion Girl campaign. Agnes Lum is the first Grand Prix winner. 
August 1976 Launch of the “Karaoke 8” karaoke machine for business, and the “Dubbing X” cassette editing deck.history16_05
October 1978 Tohoku Office opened in Koriyama-shi, Fukushima Prefecture. 
1980 November 1980 Head Office relocates to Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. 
1981 Launch of car stereo “City Connection.”history16_06
July 1983 Factory established in France (CEF). 
November 1983 Gunma Office established in Oura-gun, Gunma-ken. Manufacturing company established in Mexico (ELECLA). 
July 1987 Launch of car CD player “CD5000.” 
October 1989 Manufacturing company established in the Philippines (CMCP).

1990 - 1999

1990 February 1992 Launch of Japan’s first voice-guidance car navigation system (Map Narration System) “NAC-200.” 
1993 Launch of Japan’s first hybrid navigation system “NAX-700.”history16_07
April 1993 Clarion’s SS wireless modem is the first in Japan to achieve the official Certification of Conformance to Technical Standards. Simultaneous launch of the modem. 
January 1995 Clarion Orient Co. (CHI) established in Hong Kong. 
March 1995 ISO9001 certification obtained at all Clarion business sites. 
April 1995 Manufacturing company (DCOE) established in China. 
1995 Launch of first commercially available double-DIN CD/cassette unit “ADX8155.”history16_08
May 1996 Launch of VICS-compatible car navigation system. 
1996 Launch of single-DIN CD/DSP control, TV/AM/FM tuner-equipped 5-inch LDC amp “VRX8250.”history16_09
1996 Launch of high-performance, high-quality CD center unit “DRX9255.”history16_10
April 1997 Hamamatsu Sales Office established. 
October 1997 Manufacturing company established in Hungary (CHE). 
January 1998 In-car PC “Clarion AutoPC” jointly developed with Microsoft Corporation.
December 1998 Launch of the world’s first in-vehicle computer “AutoPC” in the United States.history16_11
August 1999 Electronic Toll Collection System (ETC) jointly developed with Hitachi Ltd. 
December 1999 OEM supply of “AutoPC” to French automaker Citroën begins.

2000 - 2016

2000 March 2000 Clarion Sales Co., Ltd. established. 
April 2000 Five Clarion offices in Japan obtain ISO14001 certification. 
December 2000 HCX Corporation established as a joint venture between Hitachi Ltd., Clarion, and Xanavi Informatics. 
2001 May 2001 Head Office relocates to Hakusan, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. 
August 2001 Launch of the Clarion scholarship “MEDAMA” campaign. 
October 2001 Launch of in-vehicle device for the Electronic Toll Collection System (ETC). 
November 2001 “AutoPC CADIAS” exhibits at Tokyo Motor Show. 
2002 March 2002 Launch of satellite radio receiver in North America. 
September 2002 Head Office relocates to Toda-shi, Saitama Prefecture. 
October 2002 Clarion Tohoku Seizo Co., Ltd. merges with Automotive Device Production Department of Clarion Co., Ltd. and Clarion Logistics Co., Ltd. and is renamed Clarion M&L Co., Ltd. 
December 2002 Launch of Japan’s first in-vehicle PC “AutoPC CADIASTM.”
Windows CE for Automotive adopted as the OS.
“Access Navi” adopted as the communication system.history16_12
2003 February 2003 World’s first bird’s-eye view camera for car rear-view system supplied to Nissan Motor.
June 2003 Launch of HDD (Hard Disk Drive) equipped AV car navigation system. 
August 2003 Started supplying CD car audio to Shanghai GM, China. 
October 2003 Launch of HDD (Hard Disk Drive) equipped AV car navigation system, compatible with “CARWINGS” of Nissan Motor Information Service. 
2004 February 2004 Launch of world’s first in-vehicle information terminal with Linux and Java™ J2ME CDC for commercial vehicles.history16_13
June 2004 Launch of the industry’s first double-DIN, 7-inch monitor-equipped HDD AV car navigation system. 
July 2004 Launch of the industry’s first bus FM teletext tuner used to display the names of stops along bus routes. 
2005 January 2005 Launch of the industry’s first AV center unit with iPod® control via virtual onscreen iPod “VRX755VD” in North America. 
March 2005 AV-Navi System developed for all Porsche Japan models. 
May 2005 World’s first iPod-compatible integrated AV-HDD Navigation Unit launched in Japan.history16_14
2006 June 2006 Car navigation introduced for the first time in Chinese and North American markets. 
July 2006 Launch of “Movieum”, Japan’s biggest travel and driving information website, utilizing video clips of tourist destinations nationwide. 
December 2006 Becomes a Hitachi Group company. 
2007 January 2007 Xanavi Informatics Corporation becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary. 
January 2007 Car audio supplied to Toyota Motor for the first time (production contracted to Daihatsu Motor). 
April 2007 Start of bus location ASP service. 
April 2007 Clarion M & L Co., Ltd. renamed Clarion Manufacturing “Protech” Co., Ltd., with production control and production engineering functions transferred from Clarion Co., Ltd. 
July 2007 World’s first car navigation system for use in commercial vehicles “Solid Navi” (CQ–8000) developed and marketed.history16_15
August 2007 Headquarters relocate to Saitama Shintoshin; renamed “Corporate Headquarters & Technology Center”. 
December 2007 Clarion’s 7-inch wide DVD Multimedia Station “VRX935VD” and 6-disc DVD Changer “VCZ625” (both American market models) adopted by NASA and the International Space Station (ISS). 
2008 June 2008 Launch of terrestrial digital TV tuner, Bluetooth®-equipped 7-inch VGA 2DIN/DVD/HDD AV-Navi system “CRASVIA (NX808).”
November 2008 Launch of mobile communication terminal “ClarionMiND” in North America.history16_16
2009 April 2009 Wholly-owned subsidiary Xanavi Informatics Corp. is absorbed and merged. 
April 2009 Clarion Sales Co., Ltd. renamed Clarion Sales and Marketing Co., Ltd. 
July 2009 SDD navigation system supplied for the first time to Mitsubishi Motors’ “i-MiEV” electric car. 
October 2009 Good Design Awards given to five 2009 models. 
2010 January 2010 Car audio supplied to Tata Motors, India for its “Nano” car. 
April 2010 Clarion Manufacturing “Protech” Co., Ltd. and Clarion Service Co., Ltd. merge and change name to Clarion Manufacturing and Service Co., Ltd. 
May 2010 Launch of “Smoonavi” 2010 series with Eco-Drive Advice and Save-energy Route Search functions. 
October 2010 Registered Head Office transferred to Saitama Shintoshin; renamed “Registered Head Office/Technology Center”. 
2011 March 2011 World’s first in-vehicle full-digital speakers developed. 
April 2011 Hakusan and Zama Offices relocate to Saitama Shintoshin. New Headquarters-Annex Office opened. 
2012 June 2012 “Smart Access” cloud-based information network service for vehicles launches in North America. 
June 2012 Launch of car navigation system compatible with “Smart Access” cloud-based information network service.history16_17
December 2012 Launch of “01DRIVE” series, world’s first Full-Digital Speaker System.history16_18
2013 May 2013 Sales company (CIL) established in India. 
October 2013 Launch of navigation system supporting “cutting-edge cloud-based voice recognition search function”.history16_19
November 2013 Launch of “NX713” Smart Access link 7-inch VGA terrestrial digital TV/DVD/SD AV navigation system.
2014 April 2014 Launch of two 2.4GHz digital wireless camera system models for commercial vehicles.history16_20
June 2014 Launch of “SurroundEye” safe driving support system for trucks and buses.history16_21
June 2014 Launch of navigation system supporting natural dialogue-type voice recognition technology “Intelligent VOICE”.
July 2014 Full digital speaker adopted as an item in the system bathroom marketed by LIXIL Corporation.
October 2014 Establishment of nursing care robot joint venture company with SAINT-CARE HOLDING CORPORATION through cross-sector partnership, the first for a nursing care provider.
2015 February 2015 Launch of “Medication Support Robot” as a device to support the elderly with medication administration, aimed at dispensing pharmacies and nursing care facilities.history16_22
April 2015 Launch of wireless IP services using industry’s first in-vehicle terminal integrating car navigation system and wireless IP functionality.
April 2015 Launch of “SOLID AD-1” Android™ in-vehicle terminal for commercial vehicles.
June 2015 Launch of industry’s first navigation system equipped with 7.7-inch screen.history16_23
Launch of five navigation system models supporting “VICS WIDE”.
September 2015 Development and release of a new Full Digital Sound System, demo exhibition held at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
2016 April 2016 Launch of “Full Digital Sound” in-car sound system.history16_24
  1. Domov
  2. About Clarion
  3. Company Profile
  4. History of Clarion

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