In-Car CD Players Not Long For This World?

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A mantra during the development of the Cadillac ATS was “every gram counts.” The result is a vehicle that should be the lightest in its class when it debuts. With pressure from consumers to improve efficiency, as well as new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards being put into place, the race is on to save weight.

Saving weight includes elimination of things (good luck with that) as well as lighter materials. These materials include carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium – all considerably more expensive than traditional steel. The Detroit Free Press has reported on this, quoting engineers who say the next target could be…..your CD player?

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At 5 whopping pounds, it doesn’t seem like the most obvious target. Apparently it is something manufacturers would like to remove though, for weight as well as center stack real estate. We think it has something to do with cost reduction as well, but that’s another story. Big news was made last year when Chevrolet ditched a CD player on the Spark. it was one of the first cars on the market to do that. As we all know, old technologies stick around for a while after most people write them off. Just think about VHS tapes and in-car tape decks.

Some choose to hold on longer than others – the 2010 Lexus SC430 has the dubious distinction of being the last car on the market with a tape deck. Still, CDs are much more recent. Automakers are betting that a younger generation of buyers won’t see the need for them. A good many older buyers still do though, so we think it’ll be a while before we see a disappearance of them completely. Besides, this writer still uses them. Uses them as in, burns MP3s onto CD’s for in-car use. With smarter and more widespread integration of iPod connections and high-quality audio though, will that be a factor in the future? We’ll see. What do you guys think, should automakers ditch the in-car CD player soon?

  1. Like you, Tony, I am constantly burning cd’s to listen to in my car. Rarely do I listen to a store-bought cd because I like to edit out my least favorite songs, etc. I suppose I could survive with just a plug-in for my iPod in the car, but I’ll miss the good ‘ol days of burning cd’s. I use Lightscribe cd technology to make permanent cd covers and like giving them as gifts. God, I feel old.

  2. Does a cd player really weigh 5 lbs? I doubt it weighs that much. I am like you; I burn music to cd’s and listen to them in my car. I have a 6 disc cd changer. I have a 2003 car and it has no USB slot for ipod; it would cost a fortune to upgrade to play from a music player (its a Mercedes).

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