8 decades of technology innovation

Clarion’s history is closely tied to the history of the automotive industry. Since the earliest days of in-vehicle devices, Clarion has consistently been an industry pioneer, launching Japan’s first car radio as well as Japan’s first car stereo. We identify drivers’ needs and support them through our technologies and know-how, while continually drawing on our abundant creativity to deliver unique products to our customers.

Having progressed from simple radio and AV systems to car navigation systems and infotainment centers, the in-vehicle device sector has now entered a new era of change, filled with exciting potential. Reflecting upon this change, Clarion has evolved to become a full-service automotive-focused solution provider. You can track our progress here looking through our illustrious history of innovation and success.


1940 - 1969


december 1940

Established as Hakusan Wireless Electric Company in 21 Hakusanmae-cho, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; Begins manufacturing battery-operated household radios. Paid-in capital: ¥180,000. 

November 1943

Merges with Takizawa Wireless Electric Industries Co., Ltd.; renamed Teikoku Dempa Co., Ltd.


Develops and launches Japan’s first car radio and bus loudspeaker device.


Launch of Japan’s— and Clarion’s— first original radio, Hino Renault’s “Le Parisien.”

Febuary 1951

Develops and launches Japan’s first car radio. 

JUNE 1958

Exports car radios to the US, creating the foundation for today’s car audio exports from Japan.

May 1959

Car radio receives genuine parts designation from Nissan Motor. 

October 1963

Japan’s first car stereo developed and launched in August of the following year.

March 1968

Japan’s first cassette car stereo launched.



1970 - 1989

december 1970

Company introduces new trade name: Clarion Co., Ltd. 

August 1976

Launch of the “Karaoke 8” karaoke machine for business, and the “Dubbing X” cassette editing deck. 


Launch of car stereo “City Connection.”

July 1987

Launch of car CD player “CD5000.” 



1990 - 1999

February 1992

Launch of Japan’s first voice-guidance car navigation system (Map Narration System) “NAC-200.” 


Launch of Japan’s first hybrid navigation system “NAX-700.”

April 1993

Clarion’s SS wireless modem is the first in Japan to achieve the official Certification of Conformance to Technical Standards. Simultaneous launch of the modem. 

March 1995

ISO9001 certification obtained at all Clarion business sites. 


Launch of first commercially available double-DIN CD/cassette unit “ADX8155.”

May 1996

Launch of VICS-compatible car navigation system. 


Launch of single-DIN CD/DSP control, TV/AM/FM tuner-equipped 5-inch LDC amp “VRX8250.”


Launch of high-performance, high-quality CD center unit “DRX9255.”

January 1998

In-car PC “Clarion AutoPC” jointly developed with Microsoft Corporation.

December 1998

Launch of the world’s first in-vehicle computer “AutoPC” in the United States. 

August 1999

Electronic Toll Collection System (ETC) jointly developed with Hitachi Ltd.   



2000 - present

March 2002

Launch of satellite radio receiver in North America. 

December 2002

Launch of Japan’s first in-vehicle PC “AutoPC CADIASTM.” Windows CE for Automotive adopted as the OS. “Access Navi” adopted as the communication system. 

February 2003

World’s first bird’s-eye view camera for car rear-view system supplied to Nissan Motor.  . 

June 2003

Launch of HDD (Hard Disk Drive) equipped AV car navigation system. 

October 2003

Launch of HDD (Hard Disk Drive) equipped AV car navigation system, compatible with “CARWINGS” of Nissan Motor Information Service. 

February 2004

Launch of world’s first in-vehicle information terminal with Linux and Java™ J2ME CDC for commercial vehicles.

June 2004

Launch of the industry’s first double-DIN, 7-inch monitor-equipped HDD AV car navigation system. 

July 2004

Launch of the industry’s first bus FM teletext tuner used to display the names of stops along bus routes. 

January 2005

Launch of the industry’s first AV center unit with iPod® control via virtual onscreen iPod “VRX755VD” in North America. 

March 2005

AV-Navi System developed specifically for all Porsche Japan models. 

May 2005

World’s first iPod-compatible integrated AV-HDD Navigation Unit launched in Japan.

July 2007

World’s first car navigation system for use in commercial vehicles “Solid Navi” (CQ–8000) developed and marketed. 

December 2007

Clarion’s 7-inch wide DVD Multimedia Station “VRX935VD” and 6-disc DVD Changer “VCZ625” (both American market models) adopted by NASA and the International Space Station (ISS). 

June 2008

Launch of terrestrial digital TV tuner, Bluetooth®-equipped 7-inch VGA 2DIN/DVD/HDD AV-Navi system “CRASVIA (NX808).”

July 2009

SDD navigation system supplied for the first time to Mitsubishi Motors’ “i-MiEV” electric car. 

March 2011

World’s first in-vehicle full-digital speakers developed. 

June 2012

“Smart Access” cloud-based information network service for vehicles launches in North America. 

June 2012

Launch of car navigation system compatible with “Smart Access” cloud-based information network service.

December 2012

Launch of “01DRIVE” series, world’s first Full-Digital Speaker System. 

October 2013

Launch of navigation system supporting “cutting-edge cloud-based voice recognition search function”. 

November 2013

Launch of “NX713” Smart Access link 7-inch VGA terrestrial digital TV/DVD/SD AV navigation system.

April 2014

Launch of two 2.4GHz digital wireless camera system models for commercial vehicles.

June 2014

Launch of “SurroundEye” safe driving support system for trucks and buses. 

June 2014

Launch of navigation system supporting natural dialogue-type voice recognition technology “Intelligent VOICE”.

February 2015

Launch of “Medication Support Robot” as a device to support the elderly with medication administration, aimed at dispensing pharmacies and nursing care facilities. 

April 2015

Launch of wireless IP services using industry’s first in-vehicle terminal integrating car navigation system and wireless IP functionality.

April 2015

Launch of “SOLID AD-1” Android™ in-vehicle terminal for commercial vehicles.

JUNE 2015

Launch of industry’s first navigation system equipped with 7.7-inch screen. 

September 2015

Development and release of a new Full Digital Sound System, demo exhibition held at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

April 2016

Launch of Full Digital Sound systems “Z3” ”Z7” and ”Z25W”.

October 2016

Launch of Full Digital Sound Headphones “ZH700FF”.

JULY 2017

Launch of "NXV977D" AV navigation system equipped with 9-inch high-definition screen and breakthrough operability realized by leading-edge HMI technology

October 2017

Development of in-vehicle color night vision camera that substantially improves night-time visibility

January 2018

Development of "Park-by-Memory" Advanced Autonomous Parking Technology that remembers the local environment around home parking spaces

May 2018

Launch of "SAFE-DR" fleet management services utilizing cloud-based solutions for commercial vehicles