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    Elkhart company puts electronics in RVs, tractors, boats and trucks

    This Hidden Gem of Elkhart County business serves a dozen different industries, and while you may not recognize the company name, you might recognize one of their brands.

    Posted on July 19, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 19, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.

    ELKHART — A local company managed to carve out quite a niche — or a dozen niches — in the mobile electronics market, and while their brands may be familiar, most people probably aren't aware of this “hidden gem” on Elkhart's northeast side.

    COMPANY NAME

    ASA Electronics

    FOUNDED/WHY THEY'RE HERE

    Tom Irons founded the company in 1977 as a distributor of electronics, but decided to change the company's focus, adding engineers to design all of their products.

    WHAT THEY DO

    They provide electronic equipment — stereos, TVs, back-up cameras, even air conditioners and microwaves — to a dozen different industries. “We design all of our products from the ground up,” said Monica Pletcher, marketing manager for the company.

    WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU KNEW

    If you've seen a Jensen, Voyager or Advent branded piece of electronics, ASA is behind that.

    WHERE THEY REACH

    While the RV industry is one of their key industries, they reach a dozen altogether, including marine, construction and agriculture.

    COMPETITORS

    They go head-to-head with Mido, River Park, Prospect, Fusion and even Sony equipment, though “we design all of our products from the ground up. I think it makes us very different,” Pletcher said.

    INTERESTING FACTS

    Ÿ ASA has sold more than a million “Wallmount” units, an all-in-one entertainment system.

    Ÿ The company's in-house testing facility tests for performance in spite of vibration, temperature and humidity, and they even spray electronics with a high-pressure water stream.

    Ÿ The company is constantly looking ahead to new features for its products.

    Ÿ In 1991 they introduced the first color television set that runs on direct current only.

    Ÿ Now common in cars and airplanes, ASA introduced the first seatback video entertainment system to the mobile video industry in 1993.

    Ÿ ASA also pioneered the flat-panel TV flip-down entertainment system, introducing the first 13-inch system with built-in TV tuner in 1998.

    Ÿ ASA's Elkhart headquarters is designated as a Foreign Trade Zone.

    Ÿ The company supports some 15 area charities.

    Do you know of a hidden gem in Elkhart County? Contact jleighty@etruth.com


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