Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Saying goodbye to the in-dash factory CD player

Back in the day, cars had an AM radio. Then FM was added along with an 8-track player. In the 70s, the 8-track disappeared and was replaced by the cassette.  In 1984, the first in-dash CD players started showing up and for a while, AM/FM/Cassette/CD players co-existed.

Around the turn of the millennium, satellite radio options were available, so we had AM/FM/Cassette/CD (and sometimes 6-pack changers)/satellite. And let’s not forget the cars that came with AUX inputs for things like iPods and smartphones and USB jacks for thumb drives. That’s a lot of options for sound. 

But in 2009, the last factory-installed cassette player was shipped. And in 2013, GM announced two vehicles that would no longer come with CD players because the intended buyers had no interest in them. Since then, some automakers have been quietly deleting CD players from their vehicles

How much longer before the CD player goes the way of the factory cassette player?

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 38573 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Ongoing History Daily: Saying goodbye to the in-dash factory CD player

  • Other than some Subarus, do any 2024 models still come with a CD player?

    I know Ford ditched them at least 5 years ago. SO did GM. Ram/Dodge/Jeep had them as optional for a few years, but they’ve been gone now since around 2021.

    I think the most basic VW Jetta has one, but higher trim levels definitely don’t.

    Thank good ness for the afternarket…for now. I was still able to upgrade the stereo in my old 1999 Tahoe LT that I use for camping. Put in a Sony head unit that has a CD player, bluetooth, and satellite radio.


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