The latest figures for cars with DAB as standard is up from 50% to 61% in the last 12 months.
In the last year nearly 1.5 million of new cars registered in the UK have had digital radio fitted as standard. In the first three months of 2015 the percentage of all cars sold with digital radio as standard was 61.1%, a significant increase from 50.4% in Q1 2014 and 35.4% in Q1 2013.
Digital Radio UK says there were 450,000 new cars registered in Q1 2015 with digital radio as standard, according to CAP/SMMT, an increase of 100,000 vs Q1 2014 and 130,000 vs Q4 2014.
The figure is up partly due to an increase in new cars being sold, reaching new record levels. New car registrations for March 2015 were a record 492,774 new cars, of which 302,000 came with DAB as standard. Mike Hawes, CEO of the SMMT, hailed March 2015 as ‘the best month this century for new car registrations’.
The top selling car in the UK remains the Ford Fiesta which sold almost 40,000 new cars in Q1 2015. Ford Motor Company confirmed this week that in May 2015 the Ford Fiesta will introduce digital radio as standard across most of its models in the UK, including the best-selling Fiesta Zetec, which means that 90% of all Fiesta sales will have digital radio as standard.
Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, says: “Over 61% of new cars with digital radio demonstrates the welcome commitment of the car industry to providing drivers with the full range of radio available today.”
According to the latest RAJAR, 22.2% of radio listening takes place in car.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, says: “Digital radio in car is on a roll – 450,000 new cars with digital radio in a single quarter is a significant milestone, and the introduction of DAB across most models of the UK’s best-selling car will ensure the growth of digital radio in car continues.”
Of the top 20 selling car brands in the UK 5 of them have digital radio as standard in 100% of all models – Audi, BMW, Mini, Land Rover and Jaguar – while a further eight have digital radio as standard in the majority of all models – Ford, Vauxhall, VW, Nissan, Mercedes, Toyota, Citroen and Skoda.
Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, says: “We are delighted to see the ongoing growth of new car registrations and the continuing drive to digital. The great progress being made by manufacturers in the line-fitment of digital radio – and the introduction of new products in the aftermarket – demonstrates the importance the automotive sector attaches to this technology.”
Helen Boaden, Director of Radio at the BBC added: “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.”