Jaguar Plans Standard-Equipment HD Radio

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Chicago — HD Radio will make its debut in Jaguar in the 2010 model year across the brand’s entire lineup, with the first model due in dealerships in summer 2009, HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital announced here at the Chicago Auto Show.

The Jaguar XK will be the first Jaguar with HD radio in dealer showrooms in mid-2009, followed later in the year by the XE, iBiquity said. The company didn’t say whether the technology would be available as standard equipment or as an option.

The brand previously announced plans to launch HD Radio in the 2008-model-year XJ sedan, but the rollout didn’t come off as announced.

By the end of calendar 2008, the number of automaker brands offering HD Radio in select models grew to eight, in some cases as a factory-installed option and in others as a dealer-installed option. The brands are BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln, Mercedes, Mercury, Mini USA, and Volvo.

In calendar 2009, Toyota’s Scion brand will join Jaguar in offering HD Radio, bringing the number of brands offering HD Radio to 10. Two other brands — Audi and Kia — have also committed to offering the technology, iBiquity said. For calendar 2010 availability, Audi will offer HD Radio as a factory-installed option in many 2011-model-year vehicles. Kia’s launch will also occur in calendar 2010 on an unspecified number of vehicles, iBiquity said.

Calendar 2009 is also noteworthy in that it will be the first year that HD Radio is available as standard equipment. Volvo will be first, offering HD Radio as standard equipment beginning March 2009 in almost all of its models. In calendar 2009 on most 2010 models, the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands will offer HD radio for the first time as a factory-installed product, with select unspecified models offering the technology as standard. The three brands aren’t new to HD Radio however. In October 2007, the three brands began offering it as a car-dealer-installed add-on “black box” for 19 of 23 model-year 2008 vehicles. The black box is controlled from the in-dash factory radio, and it is compatible with most of the automaker’s vehicle models from the 2005 to 2007 model years.

In the latter part of 2009, Scion will offer the technology in two models as a factory-installed option.

Hyundai rolled out HD Radio as an option in the 2009 Genesis, and in the 2010 model year, Hyundai will roll it out to additional vehicles.

For its part, Mercedes began offering HD Radio in the fall of 2008 as an option in three vehicles.

The first automaker to launch HD Radio was BMW, which offered it in the 2006 model year as a factory-installed option in select models. As of early 2009, BMW offered HD Radio as an option in all of its models. Mini Cooper joined BMW in the 2007 model year and offers it as an option as well.

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