BMW said this week that DAB would become standard across its entire model range from January 2013.
Analysis by CAP, the vehicle information expert, reveals relatively slow penetration of DAB radios across the car market over the past two years.
But CAP experts believe BMW’s move is a shot in the arm for DAB take-up in the UK which will lead the market to full adoption over the next 12 to 18 months.
The news comes amid speculation that the slow adoption of DAB by British radio listeners in general will force a delay in the analogue signal switch-off, which was originally planned for 2015.
The government has promised to maintain the analogue signal until 50 per cent of radio listening is via a DAB receiver but the current figure stands at 31 per cent.
It’s thought that up to 25m cars could be left with no radio signal after the switchover.
CAP new vehicle data expert David Saville said: ‘BMW’s announcement this week that DAB would become standard across their entire model range is a real shot in the arm for a less piecemeal approach by the industry to DAB.
‘Whether it’s in 2015 as originally planned, or later, DAB will be essential rather than a “nice to have” option.
‘Experience shows us that where the Germans lead in the car market, others follow, and we therefore expect most manufacturers to start making DAB standard across their ranges in the coming year to 18 months.’