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.
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.
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.
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.
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