The In Car Entertainment (ICE) sector saw a record year in 2001 according to data released by Gfk Marketing Services at SMMT today. The first official figures released on the ICE market show a total UK value of £235 million last year.

Radio/CD head units continued their growth of the last four years, recording a 46.7 per cent rise to 689,000 units. Nearly 40 per cent of Radio/CD head units purchased fell into the £130.00 to £179.99 price bracket, which helped push the market to record levels.

Car accessory shops remained the number one volume sales outlets for ICE technology, with car audio specialists and car dealers in second and third spots. Unsurprisingly, the specialist dealers enjoyed a higher sterling value percentage.

Commenting on the news, Alpine Electronics' Sales and Marketing Director and Chairman of the SMMT Car Multimedia Committee, Graham Johnson said, 'The In Car Entertainment business has never been stronger. There is much to look forward to in the future as navigation and multi-media equipment grips the public's imagination'.

Over the last 12 months, the car multi-media sector has seen radical changes, mainly in the area of satellite navigation systems and in car TV/games consoles. Gfk and SMMT plan to launch official data on this market later in the year.