An in-car entertainment company based in Tokyo, Japan that makes a variety of products including car audio systems, navigation systems, mobile CB transceivers and car TV & video systems.


Clarion started out in 1940 as the Hakusan Wireless Electric Company, who began to manufacture and sell battery-operated radios for households. The "Clarion" brand name was launched in 1947 and the company became the first car radio maker in Japan in 1951. In 1954, Clarion came to an agreement with RCA on AM/FM and the company produced its first car cassette deck in 1968. 1976 saw the arrrival of Clarion's first business-use karaoke (!?) system on the market. In 1980 the Semiconductor Laboratory was completed in the Tohoku Factory. Factories were soon opened up in Mexico (DIPESA, 1986) and the United States (CMCA, 1987). In 1989, ADDZEST became Clarion's brand for aftermarket Clarion car audio products.

Clarion's efforts in the field were rewarded in 1990 with the Nissan Quality Control Award. 1992 marked the release of NAC-200 car navigation system and a combined car audio/cellular phone system. J.D. Power Associates ranked Clarion as best overall OEM car audio supplier in its product quality survey in 1993. In 1996, Clarion released its Vehicle Imformation & Communications System-compatible (VICS) car navigation systems and the 10Mbps high-speed SS wireless modem was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 1998 was a big year for the company, with Clarion's PD Division acquiring the QS9000 (a standard dictated by the three largest automobile manufacturers in the US), developing the AutoPC with Microsoft 1 (the world's first on-board personal computer), developing a GPS receiver with Rockwell and releasing a voice-operated car navigation system. In 1999, a DVD-based car navigation system was released on the market and a 10Mbps engine for wireless LAN was developed. 2000 saw the founding of Clarion Sales Co., Ltd. (CSA) and Clarion Devices Co., Ltd. (CDC) as well as the founding of the car navigation company HCX. In 2001, Clarion moved its head office to Hakusan, Bunkyo-Kai, Tokyo.

1. What happens if it crashes? (LOL) ;-)