In 2020, there were 108,229 new cars and trucks registered in the Charlotte metro area. This number is based on projections from the National Auto Dealers Associaton (NADA) and the U.S. Census bureau.
In all, says NADA, there are 249 new-car dealerships in North Carolina. Despite the pandemic, these dealers, including those in the Charlotte area, sold $28.2 billion worth of new vehicles.
Through June of this year, these same dealers have already rung up $17 billion in new car sales.
When it comes to buying new vehicles, Charlotte consumers have a broad range of preferences. Some buyers want Fords while others want Chevrolets, Toyotas, or Teslas. Some buyers want pick-up trucks, while others want sub-compacts, SUVs, or sports cars. Of course, some want blue vehicles, while others want pearl white, orchard green, or redolent red.
There is one purchase criterion, however, that most Charlotte car buyers can agree on. They want an AM/FM radio smack-dab, in the middle of their dash.
According to new findings by Edison Research, 89% of car buyers in the U.S. want AM/FM radio to be standard in every vehicle. This study was released as part of the WorldDAB Summit.
The study also reveals:
- Over 80% of consumers are less likely to buy or lease a new car without a built-in radio tuner.
- 91% of buyers want access to in-car radio to remain free
- The most desired radio features among car buyers include voice control and content information
Drivers, including those in Charlotte, are serious about their car radios. In another study released last year by Edison, drivers said that AM/FM radio is what they use most often while on the road.
Radio ubiquity in cars is what drives radio's dominant reach among adult consumers in Charlotte.
Every week, according to Nielsen, significantly more adults tune-in to a Charlotte radio station than are reached by any other medium including local TV, social media, and local cable.
Car radios came to Charlotte in June of 1930. For just $120, about $1200 in present dollars, local drivers could install these early mobile devices into their Fords, Studebakers, Packards, and DeSotos,
The first car radios were built by the Galvin Manufacturing Company of Chicago. They named their invention, and eventually their company, Motorola.
Today, more than 1.7 million car radios fill the ears of area drivers with music, news, sports, and information. And if Charlotte consumers have their way, every new car that comes of the assembly will continue to have an AM/FM radio installed in the dash.
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