The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Vehicle CD Players May Become Obsolete by 2012

June 15, 2007

DETROIT -- The dash-mounted CD player could quickly go the way of 8-tracks and quadraphonic sound, a vice president from Siemens VDO said June 14 at the Ward's Auto Interiors Show in Detroit.

Never-ending advances in digital music devices, the take-them-everywhere cell phones and finicky customers who expect to customize their vehicles with portable devices, will push CD players out of most vehicles as early as 2012, said Frank Homann, vice president of Siemens VDO's Interior Electronics Solutions group.

Many manufacturers already are putting new sound technologies in vehicles. Most new models now come with an auxiliary input jack to allow motorists to plug and play their music devices. Additionally, carmakers recognize the need to have more electrical sources in a vehicle so drivers can recharge their phones, iPods and laptops.

Chris Dragon, director of marketing for audio company Harmon/Kardon, said he doesn't see carmakers opening their dashes to just any devices.

"(Carmakers) make a lot of money on those technology packages that include CD players and other things," Dragon said. "I don't see them opening up their electrical architecture to outside people any time soon."

Many of the changes in future interiors will start in the more nimble aftermarket arena, Dragon said. Harmon/Kardon sells a number of aftermarket devices that are popular with consumers, including the Guide and Play GPS 500 that can store music and movies, as well as GPS navigation.

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