Ford to Standardize DAB Radios Throughout UK Product Line by Late 2012

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The is reporting that Ford intends to make DAB radios standard equipment across its entire passenger auto line by the end of 2012. Leading the way will be new models of the popular Ford Focus, now being delivered with standard DAB.

The move is seen as an attempt by the U.S. automaker to get out in front of an industry-wide initiative to get DAB into all cars by the end of 2013. Industry and government officials believe such a move is essential to boosting digital radio listening (all platforms) in Great Britain to a key benchmark of 50 percent. That figure represents a threshold at which the government can begin initiating a phase out of national broadcasts over analog FM.

According to blogger and radio analyst Grant Goddard, current penetration of DAB receivers in UK households as of January was estimated to be roughly 36 percent, but those figures were far lower for cars, leaving combined digital radio listening nationally at only a little beyond the 25 percent mark.

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