After 5 years, the owners of Ocala Car Audio, which won ME Magazine’s Retailer of the Year 2012, are parting ways. Co-owner Parish Tanner will open a separate shop, which focuses more on restyling, two miles away in Ocala, FL called Restyling Design Center by Ocala Car Audio.
The new location will essentially be a competitor to the existing Ocala Car Audio, run by TJ Lafferty, which will focus more on custom and traditional car audio and is now called Ocala Customs.
Tanner’s Ocala location remains a Gold member of the Mobile Electronics Specialists of America (MESA) buying/marketing group.
He said, “Having two owners was a challenge. I had one direction, TJ had another. It became apparent it was time for us to each have our own place.”
Employees will remain at the original Ocala location. Tanner is taking some of the brands with him including Elettromedia (Hertz, Audison), Viper, Kenwood and Digital Designs. The other Ocala Car Audio shop retains Pioneer, Sony, and MMATs brands.
While the two shops will compete, the recent departure of a local shop has left room for both businesses, Tanner said.
His aim is to place custom upholstery and window tinting under one roof, rather than sending these job out to other stores, and to offer more truck accessories. “We’re doing full in-house accessories and restyling, wheels and tires, upholstery and window tint and custom fabrication in the car. We have all of that in-house. No one else in town does that in one location,” he said.
The new location is 5,000 square feet. The soft opening of the shop was Tuesday. Tanner will have a total of 7. 5 employees, in a mix of full- and part-timers, including a part-time upholsterer. He’s also located next to a restoration shop, which trades work with Tanner. So he’s working on a $15,000 audio and security system for a 1970 Chevelle, he said.