• DAB radio to become standard across the BMW range
• The first mainstream premium manufacturer to do so
• It will be available on BMWs from January 2013

From January 2013, BMW will fit digital radio across its range, becoming the first mainstream premium manufacturer to do so. This move comes ahead of the forthcoming digital switch over within the next few years.

The German manufacturer will also be offering a retrofit system for those cars with an RDS stereo in partnership with Connects2. This will be fully integrated into the dashboard, behind the existing head unit and will be the first aftermarket unit to be completely hidden behind the dash, with only the discreet aerial visible.

BMW’s announcement follows a recent survey by Auto Trader in which 41 per cent of people see digital radio as the next big leap forward in the automotive industry. 71 per cent of respondents believed that cars with DAB fitted will be worth more than vehicles that can only receive the analogue signal.

The survey also showed that the public believed that installing a DAB system into their car will cost far more than it does. The actual cost is around £100 for the unit and installation whilst most motorists believe that it would cost them more than £200.

There will be a comprehensive feature about DAB radio in the third edition of Auto Trader’s iPad publication, ignition. This edition will be available from January 11 2013.

By James Richardson

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