ASA Electronics has come a long way since CEO Tom Irions co-founded the company in 1977. Irions and his business partner, Kelly Rose, started out as the Midwest regional distributors of mobile audio/visual products for Audiovox. Irions and Rose set up shop in Elkhart, Indiana in the middle of a thriving conversion van and recreational vehicle manufacturing market. This gave ASA easy access to their customer base and also afforded us a glimpse into the realities of the market and the customers’ needs. The biggest insight Irions gained was that his customers wanted tougher electronics. Consumer-grade televisions and stereos were not cutting it in vehicles meant to drive across the country, into the wilderness, and back. More and more, customers were asking for modifications the existing supply chain just couldn’t accommodate.
Frustrated by the major electronics companies’ lax approach toward developing products for the mobile market, Irions took matters into his own hands. In 1981, the ASA Fabrication Division was born. This allowed us to take on the specialty manufacturing and assembly work needed to make the adjustments our customers were begging for. This was just the first step forward in creating unique solutions for unique applications. Five years later, the ASA Electronics team grew again, adding our own engineering department and contracted manufacturers in China. This allowed us to start building our own product from the ground up that would stand up to mobile use. We established control processes for 100-percent of our product design work to ensure we are getting the same level of quality across the board.
Around that same time, we decided to expand our offerings outside of entertainment with an eye on safety. ASA Electronics was an early innovator of rear camera systems for the commercial truck market. We realized that with vehicles that large, our customers needed a way to increase driver visibility. We developed our first wired camera system in 1987, well over a decade before automotive manufacturers made observation technology widely available.
Our attention to detail and attention to our customers’ unique needs have been core tenets of our business model for over 40 years. Our relationships in the conversion van market led to one of our earliest milestone products. In 1991, we developed the first-ever 13-inch DC-powered television for mobile use. This gave manufacturers a TV they could install without any additional modifications or adapters, unlike traditional AC-powered models. Throughout the early 90s, ASA Electronics continued to develop groundbreaking products, securing numerous patents and our own trademarked brand names.
In 1996, ASA Electronics took our relationship with Audiovox in a new direction, becoming a joint venture partner. This included the acquisition of the Heavy Duty Trucking, Agriculture, and Construction divisions from Audiovox. This helped us to further grow and diversify our business outside of the recreational vehicle market. In 1998, we solidified our commitment to assuring quality products and prioritizing our customers’ needs with our first ISO:9001 certification. We uphold the seven ISO principles of quality: customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvements, evidence-based decision making, and relationship status. We have maintained our certification and commitment to best practices ever since.
Our reputation for being able to develop electronics for specialized applications quickly spread outside our original target industries. We have since expanded our reach with products for the marine, powersport, and utility trailer markets. Our passion for providing quality product has caught the attention of key players in our industries like Nissan, UPS, John Deere, Harley-Davidson, Keystone RV Company, Mastercraft, and General Motors. We pride ourselves on partnering with our customers to create new technologies for their markets. The collaboration with our customers and other industry suppliers has led to some of our most ground-breaking products. Our goal is to help our specialty industries grow and embrace technology as it continues to evolve.