Kenwood Corporation design, develop and market a range of Car Audio, Home and Personal Audio, Professional Two Way Radio (PMR) and Amateur ("ham") Radio equipment and systems worldwide.
The company was established in 1946 as the Kasuga Radio Co. Ltd. In Komagane City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. In 1960 the firm was renamed "Trio Corporation". In 1963 the first overseas office was founded in Los Angeles, California, USA.
In the early 1960s, The Lafayette Radio Company rebranded and sold Trio's products, focusing on the 23-channel CB radio. During this period, Trio products were rebranded under the Lafayette and RadioShack brands in the United States.
During this time, William "Bill" Kasuga, who was a first generation Japanese American, joined a firm called A&A Trading Co., at the referral of a friend. A&A imported Japanese-made electronics for RadioShack and was looking for a bilingual Japanese-speaking manager. One of RadioShack's suppliers was Trio Corporation, and Kasuga had a chance meeting with two Trio executives, convincing them to sell products under the Trio name. He then partnered with George Aratani and Yoichi Nakase to establish a company that would be the exclusive importer of Trio Corporation audio products.
Kasuga decided to create an American-sounding name for the import company. He described the origin of Kenwood as being the combination of "Ken", a name common to Japan and America that had been tested and proven acceptable to American consumers in the name of Kenmore appliances, and "Wood", referring to the durable substance as well as suggesting a relation to Hollywood, California.
The brand recognition of Kenwood surpassed that of Trio's, and in 1981 Trio decided on using the Kenwood name worldwide and renamed itself Kenwood Corporation in 1986 after fully acquiring Kenwood, which at that time was still an independent importing company. George Aratani was the first chairman of Kenwood USA Corporation and succeeded by Kasuga.
Kenwood introduced its Sovereign line of components in 2001.
Kenwood announced its intention to merge with JVC after Matsushita spun off the company. The new company formed JVC Kenwood on October 1, 2008.