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It was announced this week by Digital Radio UK that 55% of new cars now come with digital radio as standard in April 2014, according to CAP/SMMT, up from 37.2% in April 2013 and just 3.6% four years ago (April 2010).
According to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, demand for the new 14-plate saw March 2014 reach 464,824 new car registrations, a rise of 17.7%, the highest in a decade. Record new car sales and the move to fitting digital radio mean that in 2014 to date over 440,000 vehicles have been sold with digital radio as standard – an increase of 62% on last year.
The new April car data shows that leading vehicle manufacturers like Vauxhall [new Insignia pictured] and Mercedes have made significant increases to 60% of their range with digital radio as standard, while the German brands BMW (100%), VW (89%) and Audi (88%) have almost 100% across the range. Market leader Ford now fits 77% of new models with digital radio as standard. Most car dealers and leading car radio retailers such as Halfords can convert existing cars to digital radio.
According to Rajar Q1 2014 data, 21.4% of all radio listening takes place in car. With many of this summer’s sporting and music events on digital stations including BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 6 Music, Absolute Radio, talkSPORT and Capital, drivers don’t need to miss a thing.
Welcoming the announcement, Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, says: “I am pleased to announce that we have just received confirmation that 55% of new cars now come with digital radio as standard – that’s great news and excellent progress.”
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, says: “We’ve now reached a significant tipping point with 55% of new cars having digital radio as standard – drivers now expect digital radio, love the choice, and wouldn’t go back to analogue-only radio.”
Helen Boaden, Director of Radio at the BBC, says: “We are delighted that now even more car drivers will be able to listen to our digital-only stations while they’re on the move.”
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of SMMT, says: “This latest rise in digital radio uptake is a welcome endorsement of consumer appetite for the next generation of audio technology and follows major investment committed to this new technology by vehicle manufacturers.”
(Source: Digital Radio)