Market Research in High End Market

Does anyone know of any market research that has been done specifically in the high end industry? Most companies are private, so finding specific information is difficult.
What information are you looking for? The magazines have done a lot of reader polls, but if you are looking for "industrial numbers" like total purchases, inventory levels and turns, good luck- I doubt that you will get any meaningfull numbers.
What kind of research are you looking for? Now you've got me curious as well. Let me know what you find if you wouldn't mind. Thanks!
I do market research for a living. I doubt that anyone save perhaps Sony has done any research on the high end beyond warranty response cards and casual inquiry of the dealer channel.

I'd give anything to run a focus group with audiophiles!
The type of information I am looking for is high end sales figures. This is tricky because "high-end" can be defined in so many ways. One way would be to use companies that have an average component price of say $3000 or more (but the obvious question is why $3000). I would really like to know the total domestic and ROW market size for this "high end" industry. What are the average and ranges of sizes of companies, how many companies are in this group with sales of over $1 million per year. How long have companies been in business, how many employees do they have? I don't really care what the company is but I would love to see a breakdown (table) that described Company A, B, C, D etc in these terms (revenue, employees, yrs in business, # current products, avg life span of individual product). The more comprehensive the better. Keep in mind you asked what "I was looking for"--not that any of this is obtainable. In other industries there are very good independent market research companies that do just this--very comprehensive reports. These reports are expensive, but very useful. I know of no such thing in the audio industry.
Hi Abstract: Sony (marketing) Europe, allegedly, has such a value/volume report, from 1999. The definition of the hi-end market is made according to their own product category classification...

Research conducted in relation to their SACD and surrounding peripherals? I don't know. However, there *were* rumours (in 1999) about Sony entering the "hi-end" market -- so, the figures, if they really exist, must be encouraging.

As I thought, you are looking for what most of the mfgs will not disclose. Having worked in the industry for ~10 yrs( late 80s~90s) I can tell you qualitativly the following information: The market has gone through a lot of consolidation, especially in the last few years-Harmon Karden is the best example, but Klipsch has bought Aragon, and some others.... The industry can be divided into some managable groups that may help to get towards your answer. First are the Majors (mostly forgein)who dabble in High-end to maintain marquee, Sony, Philips, Marantz, Denon, Luxman and Harmon Kardon. The last is an interesting case as they have bought Madrigal, Mark Levinson, etc. As such, the majors are large firms where high end is but a part of their revenue. The second group might be the High-end majors, ARC, C-J, Krell. These companies have fluctuated between being very small to over 100 employees. most of these have been in the over 1 million in sales, but not on a consistant basis. Some runners-up in this catagory could be Cary, Martin Logan, Wilson, VAC and Theil. Most of the companies that make High-end equipment are small, 1~5 employees, w/ sales ~500K+/-. They are very sensitive to market conditions, and usually grow or shrink based upon reviews and show sucess.
I am constantly amazed at the number of companies that appear each year with new products. Most of these ar ebuilt in runs of 100 or so, and unless they sell quickly, that may be the last 100 made. This is one of the few industries that can be runn sucessfully out of a garage for years, some still are!
Thanks to everyone who has responded thus far. Any ideas on how I can get a hold of Sony's report? That sounds like the most comprehensive market research out there. Also, I did a similar type of analysis that 6bq5 did. Although, it was mostly a guess. I did it based on touring factories, seeing the number of employees and square footage and knowing what kind of sales volume it would take to support that. However, there were many companies that I have not ever visited and just guessed based on their apparent presence in the market. The ones I had a good idea of were:
Krell, Madrigal, McIntosh, and Wilson
The ones I guessed at and perhaps people here on Audiogon have toured their facilities or have information about # employees, square footage, or rough estimate as to total volume in sales--even the ones above people may have better information than I do. This list would be:
ARC, Martin Logan, Classe, Bryston, Cary, Dunlavy, Wilson, Theil, Revel, Meridian, Dynaudio, CAT, BAT, Sonic Frontiers, VTL, JM Lab, Accuphase, Linn. There are probably others--so any information that other A-goners have would be appreciated.
I think I remember Linn's annual T-O was USD: c. 20 mill. in 1998. But this would include their low-end gear, ofcourse. Although published b-sheets of the companies you mention could be a route to follow, there would be no way of knowing which part of the T-O refers to hi-end equipment... (or what each co's mkt share is, for that matter, in order to extrapolate).

I'll look into Sony's case -- but I'm not very optimistic!