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In-car DAB should be standard

Research shows that 63 percent of people surveyed expect a new car to come with DAB Digital Radio as standard, with the figure increasing when consumers get a taste of the benefit of DAB.

The majority of 1,000 people surveyed for the Digital Radio Development Bureau were mass market drivers owning cars priced between £7,000 and £15,000, with Ford and Vauxhall being the most commonly owned brands.

Ford, which already includes DAB as standard in most of its top of the range cars, and as an option in nearly all other models, says: “We anticipated increased customer demand for in-car DAB and it is now fitted as standard on many versions of our models, including the Focus, Kuga, C-Max, Mondeo and S-Max Titanium series and the Mondeo and Galaxy Ghia.”

Vauxhall includes DAB as standard in some models of its Insignia range and as an option in most other cars, such as all Astras (except Twin Top), Corsa, Zafira and Meriva. Vauxhall says “DAB is certainly the future direction for in car audio and we are continually expanding the offer , for example we have made this feature standard in 25 per cent of New Insignia”.

Other manufacturers currently offering DAB as either standard or option are Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Landrover, Lexus, Lotus, Mercedes, Mini, Renault, Toyota, Volvo and VW. Others are expected to follow suit with Renault, Peugeot and GM recently confirming that they are considering fitting digital radios as standard in their UK cars.

The DRDB also gave 100 people a PURE Highway in-car DAB adaptor (which lets your analogue car radio receive DAB) before doing follow-up interviews. After experiencing DAB in-car, the percentage of drivers expecting a DAB radio to come as standard jumped to 76 per cent suggesting that exposure to DAB has a very positive impact. Sales of after-fit DAB devices have grown by 500 per cent since the Highway was launched late in 2007.

DRDB chief executive Tony Moretta: “Our research shows that despite the distractions of other gadgets, people really do love radio in their cars, and they love digital radio even more. Many car manufacturers already recognise this and DAB support is taking off in a big way, being available as standard or an option in more than 80 models from 16 different manufacturers.

“Improving DAB take-up in cars is key to meeting the criteria for digital radio switch-over set out in the Digital Britain report. With the increasing support of car manufacturers, recent announcements in France and Germany, and growing consumer demand, I am very optimistic that we will see significant growth in this area over the coming years.”

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