He made the announcement at Radio’s Digital Countdown, a radio industry conference attended by more than 200 broadcasters, manufacturers, retailers and industry stakeholders, described the progress made by the vehicle manufacturers.
Data from industry analysts CAP and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders for Q3 2105 shows that the number of new cars fitted with digital radio as standard in September 2015 has increased by 40% compared to September 2014 (343,000 in September 2015 vs 245,000 in September 2014) and that the proportion with digital radio has increased to 74.1% from 57.6% in September 2014, and 41.5% in September 2013.
Additionally a further 7% of all new cars offer digital radio as an option which means that over 80% of cars (81.2%) are available with digital radio.
In the last quarter, more than 500,000 cars (527,000) have been sold with digital radio fitted as standard, and in the last 12 months 1.75 million cars have been sold with digital radio as standard.
The top 10 new car models sold in September all have digital radio fitted as standard.
The UK Government has set coverage and listening criteria for a future radio switchover, while Norway has become the first country in the world to set a timetable for radio switchover (the end of 2017).
Mike Hawes, CEO of the SMMT, said: “Vehicle manufacturers continue to invest heavily in new audio technologies to enhance the listening experience for motorists.
That fact that digital radio is now available in more than 80% of new cars is testament to growing consumer demand for these technologies, and we expect uptake to continue rising in the coming months and years.”