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More companies join the drive to convert your car radio

With a possible digital radio switchover looming, the race is on to get car radios adapted to digital radio.

It was confirmed today that two of the UK’s leading technology manufacturers, Nextbase and Roberts Radio, and the leading car servicing business, Halfords Autocentres, are entering the digital radio car conversion market by launching a range of digital radio adapters and a new fitting service.

Speaking at the Drive2Digital conference, which was attended by 250 industry executives including audio and radio manufacturers and retailers, vehicle manufacturers and broadcasters, Nextbase, the UK's market-leading automotive technology manufacturer and Europe’s best-selling dash cam brand, and Roberts Radio, the UK market- leader in portable radios, unveiled new digital radio adapters, while Halfords Autocentres outlined a new approach to fitting digital radio adapters.

Nextbase is introducing two new DAB products this autumn: the Nextbase ADAPT DAB250 and the Nextbase ADAPT DAB350BT, with the latter with the additional benefits of Bluetooth and hands-free.  Both in-car DAB adapters can be either self-fitted or garage-fitted and will be available in Halfords from 16 October for £99 (ADAPT DAB250) and £129 (ADAPT DAB350BT), and are Digital Radio Tick Mark approved.

Richard Browning, Sales Director, Nextbase, who announced the launch at Drive to Digital, said:
“Nextbase is one of the most successful and fastest growing automotive technology brands in the UK. We see a real opportunity to become a market-leading brand in the emerging market for digital radio car adapters and are looking forward to the Autumn launch of the Nextbase DAB Adapt range in partnership with Halfords.”

Halfords Autocentres, the UK’s leading MOT and servicing specialists, announced that they will be introducing a pilot digital radio upgrade service featuring the Nextbase DAB Adapt range in their centres in Surrey this Autumn, ahead of a national launch across their 315 centres in the New Year.

Announcing the new initiative at the conference, Stefan Warhaftig , Commercial Director, Halfords Autocentres, said:
“Our sister company Halfords is already the UK leader in digital car conversions and Halfords Autocentres can make the fitting of digital radios in-car even more convenient by offering to upgrade anyone’s car radio to digital when they book a service or MOT. We are delighted to be part of the Go Digital pilot in Surrey this Autumn and will look to planning an expansion of the service nationally next year.”

Additionally, radio market-leaders Roberts Radio announced that they would be entering the automotive market for the first time with the launch of a Roberts Radio digital radio car adapter.

Giving conference attendees first-sight of the new car adapter which will be formally launched later this year, Owen Watters, CEO, Roberts Radio, said:
“Roberts is well-established as a market-leader in digital radios in the UK with a reputation for quality and innovation. Given the increased consumer demand across Europe to receive DAB digital radio in car we are bringing all the Roberts expertise and know-how into the car adapter market. We are confident that the Roberts digital car adapter will be recognised as best in class with the outstanding level of reliability and performance associated with any Roberts’ product.”

Earlier in the day, Digital Minister Matt Hancock called for the end of analogue-only radios.

Once digital radio listening reaches 50% of all listening, a figure expected to be reached in the next few months, plans for a possible digital radio switchover will be considered, which could pave the way for further DAB coverage improvements.