Aftermarket OE Integration for Cars Hits $170 Million

Devices that help you connect an iPod or smartphone in the car are gaining in popularity, accounting for more than $170 million in retail sales in 2011, reported NPD’s Retail Tracking Service.

About 84 percent of vehicle owners have a portable media device, and 79 percent use it in the car.

Nearly two-in-five (37 percent) iPod owners said they use their devices “always” or “most of the time” while driving, according to an NPD study.

Despite the popularity of these devices, traditional car audio products are still in demand. About 73 percent of vehicle owners with an FM radio said they use it during most car trips and 57 percent of consumers said they would not want to buy a car radio that lacked a CD player.

iPod/smartphone connectivity is also becoming a key purchase factor with a third (32 percent) of consumers saying the feature is highly important in their decision to buy future car audio products.

“We’re only going to see greater consumer attachment to social media, streaming audio and video, and other services as content options grow,” said Ben Arnold, NPD Director of Industry Analysis.

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