If you haven’t bought a new car in the past 10 years, you’re probably unfamiliar with the slightly disturbing fact that CD players aren’t really mainstream anymore. Walk into a dealership and look through some car windows, and you’ll see what we’re talking about. In the year 2021 CE, few brands offer them more, and only one still seems to love them: Lexus. A handful of GM vehicles have offered them in recent years, mostly in its large SUVs. Most car manufacturers consider CD players to be cumbersome, cumbersome options that steal space from other items that can fit in the center console … if your vehicle still has a center console that is not consumed by a giant touch screen. Really, however, the automakers also want them to go.
The death of the CD player began slowly about a decade ago, reaching a cliff about five years ago, when the number of cars fitted with factory-installed units seemed to drop sharply. By that time, the medium had long become a retro way to buy music, but players lingered, much like the cassette players that died out in the mid-2000s.
Latency is related to who buys new cars in the first place, especially new luxury cars. Lexus owners may still have large collections of CDs and be much more likely to take them away, so the automaker certainly has an incentive to offer it as an option.
In the end, it was the smartphone that really spelled the end of CD players in cars, and the iPods that came before it. As soon as the iPod-like functionality merged into the phone, it was all over for CDs.
In a few years, the CD player will disappear altogether, orphaning all those Fleetwood Mac CDs stored in lens hood folders around the world.
Do you always expect a CD player option in a new car? Let us know in the comments below.
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