MITO Corp., a longtime Elkhart, Ind.-based parts and accessories distributor to the RV industry, is staging its first-ever “Product Showcase” this week (March 31-April 2) at the Matterhorn Conference Center in Elkhart. The invitation-only event is intended to highlight a number of new and evolving products to its manufacturing clients, according to Chairman Michael Stock.
“We’re showing our EOM customers all the new products that we displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas recently,” Stock told RVBUSINESS.com Tuesday afternoon at the Matterhorn on Elkhart’s north side. “It gives us the opportunity to show them all the products and technology coming out right now.”
MITO, founded by Stock and the late Tom Fuller 34 years ago, operates two warehouses on the east side of the city with a combined 44,000 square feet, supplying RV builders with a range of electronics, including rear-view camera systems, televisions, and audio and navigation componentry. The company distributes an array of products under popular brands including WiFi Ranger, Kicker, Clarion, Vizio and Seiki, as well as private-label systems exclusive to MITO such as Perimeter View camera systems and Executive-brand speakers.
“Products — particularly electronic equipment — are always changing,” Stock pointed out. “It just keeps getting better and better, with more functionality, and part of our job is seeing where that technology is going and stay out in front of it. That’s what our customers have come to expect from us.”
One example of that evolving technology on display at the event is MITO’s new Perimeter View 360 camera system, which incorporates cameras at the front and sides of a vehicle to provide a real-time 360-degree view around the vehicle. Designed for school buses — MITO also distributes products in the commercial and marine markets — the system “allows the driver to see everything around the bus — front, sides and rear — simultaneously,” Stock said. “It should be mandatory, and I think it will be in the next year or two. You can also capture it on video for insurance purposes.”
What distinguishes this MITO system from others on the market, Stock added, is the sophisticated software incorporated into the unit that “bends” the signal around the back of the bus and seamlessly integrates it with all three cameras onto the viewing screen. “You won’t see any ‘transfer lines’ at all,” said Stock. “With other systems, you’ll see a little blind spot in each corner where the images come together. This is totally seamless.”
Less obvious perhaps than the product displays is the fact that MITO is also essentially showcasing the company’s technical prowess during its showcase event.
“We’re known for excellent products, but we’re also known for giving better service than our competitors,” said Marvin Metzler, a 31-year MITO employee and current co-owner who began in the sales department and is now president and CEO. “We have a full tech support staff, and our sales people are trained in electronics. If they can’t solve it, our technical support people can step in to help — and if they can’t solve it, we have engineers behind them. So we’re actually three layers deep in support assistance if there’s an issue.”