GadgetsMusic Industry

How Long Will Auto Manufacturers Include CD Players in Cars? Here’s a Guess.

The death of the factory in-dash cassette player was a long one. Delco and Motorola units first started appearing in new models in about 1970. The last new model car to come with a factory cassette player was the 2010 Lexus SC430.  For most of that time, the in-dash cassette player co-existed with the factory CD player, which was first included in the 1984 S-Class Mercedes.

But ever since the cassette player disappeared from new models, so has the CD player as more and more people prefer to plug their smartphones than lug around stacks of compact discs. It wasn’t that long ago that many of us spent hours burning mix CDs just for the car. My limit was six–maybe 75 songs–because I had a six-pack changer and once loaded, I rarely bothered to swap out an old disc for a new one.

With the three cars I’ve driven over the last ten years, I betcha I’ve jammed fewer than 10 CDs into their dashboards. If I want music, it comes from the radio, satellite or my phone. I’m not even sure if my wife’s Honda CR-V has a CD player. I haven’t been arsed to look.

According to a survey of automotive experts, the factory CD player should be gone by 2019. That’s just three years away.  If you’re shopping for a new, you may have encountered CD players as options. Some models–especially those aimed at Millennials–don’t even offer a CD player because market research shows that the majority of buyers for those vehicles will never use it.

From The Telegraph:

Many new car models launched in the last 12 months have offered the CD player only as an optional extra, while others have abandoned the music mode entirely.

These include mainstream models such as the Citroen C4, the Skoda Yeti and the new British-built Vauxhall Astra. The Vauxhall Corsa did away with CD players on all but the entry-level version when the model was introduced in 2014.

JATO Dynamics, an automotive market research company, revealed that only 59 per cent of models on sale today offer a CD player as standard, compared with 79 per cent 10 years ago.

More than one in ten of the 5,908 different car makes, models and trim levels on sale in the UK do not even offer a CD player.

According to analysts, only 35 per cent of cars worldwide will still boast a CD player by 2019, The Daily Mail reports. Sue Barnes, of JATO, said this was being driven by developments in new technologies, resulting in increasing numbers of cars featuring USB audio connections for iPods or iPhones.

You can read the whole article here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38569 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “How Long Will Auto Manufacturers Include CD Players in Cars? Here’s a Guess.

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.