CD Players Make Slow Exit From New Cars

Car CD players will soon go the way of the tape deck, according to Automotive News.

Around 331,000 cars will be sold without CD players by the end of this year, says John Canali, an analyst for the research company Stratacom. Canali expects that number to jump to 12.1 million vehicles by 2018.

Why the change? Drivers are using their CD players less and instead opting to use their smartphones to play music. In turn, automakers want to get rid of optical drives because they're expensive and mainly appeal to older motorists, Canali says.

The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS is a prime example. It's the first model to get Chevrolet's MyLink touch-screen stereo. The MyLink system in the Sonic lacks an optical drive; instead, buyers will need to use the Sonic's touch-screen to access features like Pandora internet radio to play music. To access Pandora or other online services, a smartphone must be paired.

The youth-oriented Sonic RS is a good car to start the trend because CD players are most often used by baby boomers, according to Canali. Of course, if you don't want to go through the trouble of pairing your phone, you can always use the auxiliary or USB input to access music from a portable music player — including a CD player, if you still have one.

-Colin Bird, Cars.com

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