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The History of Becker

The history of Becker is almost like the history of the car radio itself. With humble beginnings in 1945, Becker has now become one of the leading suppliers for prestige vehicles in the world. Brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and Ferrari select Becker as one of their main OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) suppliers for car audio and now car entertainment and navigation systems.

Early Becker radios
Early Becker radios.

Becker was started by Max Egon Becker and made its first radio in 1945. It was an aircraft radio receiver and was soon followed by car radio in 1948, one of the earliest on the market. They were being fitted standard into Mercedes cars by 1949. Over the years Becker have had many industry firsts.

Becker is very technologically orientated. They are one of the most up-to-date and advanced car sound systems one is likely to come across. While the actual number of products in the range may not be large, they certainly fulfil most needs in the area of high end and will perform brilliantly. By specialising on a few models nothing is left to chance. Every model is a superb performer and built exceptionally well.

Why the name Mexico? If you look at most of the Becker model names, such as Avus, Silverstone, Monaco and Imola, you will of course notice that the are all related to motor sport. Max Egon Becker was involved with motor sport and this carried over into the model names, still in use today.

A Timetable of Becker History

  • 1945 Max Egon Becker establishes an electronic workshop in his newly established workshop in Pforzheim, Germany.
  • 1945 The very first Becker radio manufactured, the Becker Aerophon, designed for aircraft.
  • 1948 First car radio built by Max Egon Becker, the Becker Autophon.
The first Becker, the Aerophon.
The first Becker, the Aerophon.
  • 1949 Becker Car Radio GmbH is formed in Karlsbad / Ittersbach, still where they are today.
  • 1949 Mercedes-Benz launches as the very first OEM customer, with the Becker AS49, then the AS5065 and finally the Becker Solitude.
  • 1952 Awarded Best Radio Equipment in a Motor Vehicle for the Becker Monaco at the Monte Carlo Rally.
  • 1953 First full automatic search in a car radio along with the now classic Becker Mexico released.
Inside the Becker Mexico.
Inside the Becker Mexico.
  • 1954 Becker awarded again at the Monte Carlo Rally for the new Mexico.
  • 1963 First fully transistorised car radio, the Becker Monte Carlo.
  • 1969 First combined cassette tuners in a car radio, the Becker Mexico Olympia and Becker Europa Stereo.
  • 1969 First two channel amplified car tuner with stereo reception, the Becker Europa.
  • 1970 Becker plant at Schaidt, Germany established.
  • 1973 Development of Traffic Radio Decoder for traffic reports and station identification.
  • 1975 First car radio with cassette auto-reverse in the Becker Mexico.
  • 1979 Becker Mexico Cassette Electronic released with digital display and microprocessor control.
  • 1985 Becker Mexico Electronic with integrated CD Player and radio is released.
Becker Mexico 860 CD Radio
Becker Mexico 860 CD Radio
  • 1987 First mass production dual tuner, the Becker Mexico Diversity.
  • 1988 Development in partnership with Mercedes-Benz AG of the S-Class Sound System.
  • 1990 Development of RDS Diversity and AutoBest for enhanced FM listening.
  • 1990 Release of the first Becker Silverstone 980 CD Changer with matching databus system.
Becker radio and speaker collection.
Becker radio and speaker collection.
  • 1995 First car radios with digital signal processing, the Becker Avus and Grand Prix CD.
  • 1995 Becker GmbH becomes part of the Harman International group.
Harman/Becker logo.
Harman/Becker logo.
  • 1996 First fully digital fibre-optic car audio data-bus system, D2B.
  • 1997 First combination digital / DSP car amplifier, the Becker Energy 350.
  • 1997 First single DIN in-dash navigation system, the Becker TrafficStar, takes Europe by storm.
  • 1997 Becker Mexico Professional released, defining true high-end car audio.
Becker TrafficStar
Becker TrafficStar
  • 1998 Fibre-optic system standard in Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
  • 1998 Development of most (Media Oriented Systems Transport) begins.
  • 1999 Becker Mexico MiniDisc tuner released.
  • 1999 Navigation possible over Europe through 18 countries with the new Becker TrafficPro.
  • 2000 Continuously updated traffic information for navigation on the TrafficPro with TMC (Traffic Message Channel).
  • 2001 Navigation development expands into the USA and South Africa.
  • 2001 Becker Automotive Systems becomes Harman/Becker Automotive Systems.
  • 2001 Becker OnLine Pro released, heralding a new era in car audio communications systems with e-mail, WAP, SMS, mobile phone, MP3, CD, twin RDS tuner and navigation.
  • 2002 MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) released to OEM customers, the next generation audio and video data transport system.
  • 2003 Becker Navigation extended to Australia - OEM customers.
  • 2003 MP3 CD tuner system released - Monza MP3 7882.
  • 2004 Becker Vision Pro released, the definition of rear screen / DVD entertainment.
  • 2005 Becker Traffic Assist - handheld navigation system.
  • 2005 New Mexico Pro with MP3, WMA and optional iPod interface.
Becker Grank Prix 7990
Something old...something new.