GM No Longer Selling CD Players in Passenger Vehicles

Car technology has grown by leaps and bounds since the first car was patented over 100 years ago. As we develop new, sometimes better, technology, the old tech gets phased out of cars and replaced. Currently, new tech is becoming such a big deal in cars that General Motors, along with the Stellantis parent company, has gone to court to prevent independent repair shops from repairing GM or Stellantis cars under the guise of protecting their technology. 

The technology for listening to music is no different. First, 8-track tape players were replaced by cassette tape players, and then those were replaced by CD players. Now CD players are on their way out, with GM being the latest automaker to stop including them.

Car CD players are getting phased out

A black and white photo of a woman presenting a CD player in a vehicle
A 1980s automotive CD player | Chris Hoffmann/picture alliance via Getty Images

CD players used to be one of the most sought-after car accessories, and, for a price, you could even get a six-disc CD changer. Like their predecessors, CD players went from being an expensive, optional add-on to being standard on almost every car. Now, just like the technology they replaced, it is increasingly difficult to find CD players in new cars, even as an optional add-on. In fact, Lexus is one of the few brands that still have CD players available in their new vehicles.

Why GM decided to get rid of CD players

The Drive recently reported that GM is removing CD players from all of their normal passenger vehicles, removing them from the 2022 Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans, which were the last two holdouts. If you are determined to drive a vehicle from GM and have a CD player, there are still a couple of vehicles you could choose from. The Chevy Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD, or 6500HD and the Chevy Low Cab Forward trucks will still have CD players. However, heavy-duty dump trucks or box trucks probably are not the best commuter vehicles. 

According to GM Authority, it is not really surprising that GM made this decision, even though many consumers are not happy about it. After all, CD players are pretty much obsolete. Best Buy stopped selling CDs in 2018, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now widely available in most cars. Even without either of those, you can still play your digital music from your phone using an auxiliary cord.

What options do you still have for playing music in the car?

In addition to the previously mentioned auxiliary cord and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, there are a couple of different options to play music in your car. Most cars come equipped with Bluetooth, which allows you to play music from your smartphone without an auxiliary cord. Many cars also come with Sirius XM, but you will have to pay for it after your free trial is up. Lastly, if you are really desperate and don’t want to pay for satellite radio or don’t have a smartphone, there is always good old FM/AM radio. 

It might not always be better, and sometimes it can even make things more complicated, but new technology is inevitable. While it might be a bummer to let your massive CD collection gather dust, try to look at the positives. Digital music doesn’t skip if it gets scratched, and you don’t have to carry around a huge stack of CDs. Plus, you never know what will end up making a comeback. Vinyl records are cool again, so maybe CDs will eventually come back around as well. 

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