CD sales in the UK fell 35% between 2006 and 2010, while the number of digital album sales increased more than seven-fold. Digital single sales now account for 98% of the market, Ford said, explaining why it had dropped multi-disc CD players from the latest European Focus line.

It added that 95% of buyers of the recently redesigned model choose versions with MP3 device connection and 90% Bluetooth wireless connection.

“In-car entertainment technology is moving more rapidly than almost any other element of the vehicle experience,” said Sheryl Connelly, global trends and futuring manager, at the automaker.  “The in-car CD player – much like pay telephones – is destined to fade away in the face of exciting new technology.”  

“Ford will obviously continue to offer CD players while there is demand,” added Ralf Brosig, multimedia manager, Ford of Europe. “However, over time we expect customer preferences will lead us quickly into an all-digital approach to in-car audio entertainment.”

SYNC with MyFord Touch will arrive in Europe, in the Focus, next year.

This multimedia infotainment hub, already on sale in the US, provides connectivity options including multiple USB inputs, SD card ports, RCA inputs and Bluetooth.

The system also will act as a password-protected wireless hotspot for up to five devices, providing connectivity through USB or mobile phone broadband modems. This capability will potentially allow access to cloud computing services such as the recently unveiled Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Music, eliminating the need to carry music storage devices in the vehicle. Ford expects 2m SYNC equipped vehicles to be on the road in Europe by 2015.

Ford is adding DAB [digital] radio as standard to the Focus in the UK and, as an option it was in half the Mondeo and Galaxy models sold so far in 2011 and over 80% of S-Max customers ordered it.

DAB is standard on the latest C-Max and Grand C-Max models.