Elan expands into U.K. market

Sunday, December 1, 2002

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Poised to capture a market in which custom audio-visual and automation systems for the home have only recently become popular, Elan Home Systems has introduced its full line to the United Kingdom.

Expansion to the U.K. comes as Elan has realized a 500 percent growth over four years. The Lexington, Ky.-based company has released more than 250 products in the past six years.

Jonathan Smith, director of distribution for Elan Systems (U.K.), said the success of Elan in the U.S. is due to its innovative products and superior dealer support. He expects the company to experience similar popularity in Britain.

Officials say one of Elan's most innovative products is the VIA Touchpanel, a color panel that controls intercom, DVD, stereo, security and other systems.

"Multi-control systems for the home are in (their) infancy in the U.K. as far as a widely-accepted proposition for consumers," said Mike Murray, director of international sales for Elan.

"They're a little bit behind the U.S. as far as the push to put all the wire in the wall that you'll need for the next 30 years."

Murray said many third-party security systems will now be more attractive to customers in the U.K. because they can be used with Elan products.

While other full-color touch panels such as AMX and Crestron are already available in the U.K., the VIA Touchpanel is more affordable and equally flexible in terms of function, Smith said. "Installers in the UK have never before had access to a single manufacturer with such a comprehensive product line," Smith said.

Elan products are sold to independent dealers who integrate the products with other systems including Lutron and LiteTouch lighting systems and HAI and GE Interlogix security systems. The products became available in the U.K. in mid-summer.

"Thanks to my face-to-face relationship with the company, Elan Systems (U.K.) will bring that same full factory technical support and training to U.K. installers," Smith said.