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Voxx, longtime LI-based car stereo maker, moving HQ to Florida

Pat Lavelle, president and chief executive of Voxx

Pat Lavelle, president and chief executive of Voxx International, in 2010. Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Voxx International, the Long Island-based maker of car stereos and other electronics, said Monday that it is moving its corporate headquarters to Florida.

The Hauppauge company, founded in 1960, is building a $17 million, 125,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing plant in Orlando, creating 134 jobs there.

"Florida will provide an excellent location and a pro-business climate for us to consolidate production and manufacturing operations from other locations," Voxx chief executive Pat Lavelle said in a joint statement announcing the move with Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

It's unclear how many Voxx employees will remain on Long Island. As of May 2013, roughly 400 of the company's 2,100 employees worked at the company's facility on Marcus Boulevard.

A Voxx spokesman did not return calls seeking comment.

Voxx joins a string of once-local companies that have moved their headquarters or folded in recent years. They include CA Technologies, which moved its headquarters last year to Manhattan, and Arrow Electronics, which decamped for Colorado.

All told, more than 30 Long Island companies that were traded on major exchanges have either moved, failed or been bought since 2007.

Voxx, which had roughly $810 million in revenue during fiscal 2014, sells products through a variety of brands including Audiovox, RCA, Jensen and Acoustic Research.

The company, originally named Audiovox, traces its roots to an import trading business founded by John J. Shalam, the son of an Egyptian textile merchant who immigrated to New York City in 1948.

In 1965, Shalam was stuck with about 2,000 transistor car radios when a buyer refused to pay for them. So he drove around Brooklyn and Queens, selling them for $2 a pop.

"By the end of '65, I had shipped out the last of those 2,000 radios," Shalam told Newsday in 2009.

By 1982, Audiovox was among the top sellers of automotive sound systems. The company went public in 1987.

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