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Sony Introduces Low Cost Car CD Players

San Diego — Sony is debuting a new line of low cost, highly “expandable” car stereo CD receivers, reflecting the general trend in car audio of cramming iPod, satellite radio and other forms of media compatibility in car radios at increasingly lower price points.

Sony is shipping a second-generation GT series that leads with a CDX-GT110 CD receiver with front-panel auxiliary inputs to connect to any digital audio player plus 45×4 watt power and detachable face plate at a suggested retail price of $79.95. Last year, the line began at $99.

The step-up CDX-GT210 adds MP3 and non-DRM WMA playback and 50×4 watt power at $99.95, and the CDX-310 further adds satellite radio- ready capability (XM or Sirius), CD changer control, iPod adapter capability with an optional $49 cable and 52×4 watt power at $119.95.

Capping the new series is the CDX-GT510, which adds, ATRAC3 and non-DRM AAC playback plus switchable red and green illumination at $139.95. The first two models shipped last month while the latter two units are expected to ship this month.

Sony continues its strategy of debuting some of its new products in the fall, rather than waiting for a winter launch at International CES.

“We want the new products in the market in time for the holiday and also for showing them at [the SEMA show in Las Vegas in October], which is becoming a more important event for the mobile category,” said Brennan Mullin, Sony mobile products GM.

Sony said it has a market share of approximately 24 percent in car stereo CD receivers compared with about 15 percent last year.