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J.D. Power: People Want Gadgets In Car

Westlake Village, Calif. — Car consumers are showing high interest in connecting portable devices to their cars, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

Nearly two-thirds of consumers who listen to music in their cars said they would like to listen to a portable digital music player through their car speakers, while 27 percent want to listen to music from a smartphone through the car’s audio system.

Also, more than half use an auxiliary-input jack, while about 20 percent use a wireless FM transmitter.

Among consumers currently using their car’s Bluetooth functions, interest in a wireless connectivity system in their car is 68 percent, compared with 47 percent among those who have Bluetooth but do not use it, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.

The study also found among people who want to purchase a new vehicle in the next six months, 72 percent are interested in a premium sound system.

J.D. Power also found consumer interest in a navigation systems is at 67 percent, but once the price of that

system ($1,600) is revealed, the interest falls to just 20 percent. For owners of premium vehicles, the interest falls to 45 percent after the price is revealed.

But even while most consumers want a lower-priced navigation system, only a third are interested in the lower cost alternative of an “off-board” navigation system with no map display, where the user gets text or voice directions from a live operator.

The accompanying chart lists the percentage of consumers interested in car electronics features before they are told the price, and then it ranks the level of consumer interest after the price is revealed.

The No. 1-ranked feature consumers are interested in after learning of the price is active cornering headlights, followed by blind-spot detection and then rear-vision backup cameras.