Fleet News

Minister addresses auto industry's digital radio concerns

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has welcomed the publication of the Government's Digital Radio Action Plan, which acknowledges the complexity of the challenges facing the automotive industry in its transition to digital radio.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Conference in London, minister for culture, communications and creative industries, Ed Vaizey MP, outlined details of the plan which he said reaffirmed government's commitment to securing a digital future for radio outlining the automotive sector as a key concern for government.

While he announced that significant progress has been made in the area, he pledged to work with car manufacturers to ensure that all new cars are fitted with digital radios as standard by the end of 2013. He also made reference to concerns raised about the 31 million vehicles currently on UK roads which will be affected by the digital upgrade, reinforcing industry's message that that there needs to be an affordable and easy conversion solution.

"Vehicle manufacturers are confident that it will be possible to meet the 2013 target for new vehicles, but further action will be required to prepare the heritage parc for the ambitious 2015 timeframe. Key tasks include the development of more retro-fit options that meet agreed technical standards. It will also be important to assure consumers that those installing this equipment are appropriately trained," said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt.

SMMT recently formed the Digital Radio Committee to support and promote a smooth transition across the motor industry during the upgrade from analogue to digital radio.

The new SMMT group, which brings together a cross-section of industry representatives from the car, commercial vehicle and aftermarket sectors, will meet on a regular basis to support the Digital Radio Action Plan.

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