AM Radio could be tuned out in future vehicles

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 10:35 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Cars come with many amenities like air conditioning, back-up cameras and radio, but now the automobile industry is in the process of removing the AM side of radio and some people are not happy.

According to Edison Research, 54% of radio listeners say the only time they do so is in the car, but now many of those consumers may be forced to tune out. This is due to AM radio on the path of removal from future automobiles.

“It’s changed dramatically over the years. Basically, AM radio was it. It was the only thing you could get. Over the years FM radio has really taken over quite a bit,” said Bob Pressman who is a former news and sports director at WROK radio.

Back in April, Ford released its newest car, a 2024 Ford Mustang, but the new model rolled out without a feature many would expect...AM radio. A move that had many drivers and lawmakers fighting back. The “AM For Every Vehicle Act 2023″, calls on the National Highway Safety Administration to keep AM radio in new cars at no cost, according to the Associated Press.

“AM stations I think provided so much to a community, especially so much like Rockford where you got news, you got community information, you’re able to connect with people quite a bit,” Pressman expressed.

He says he’s not surprised AM radio has lost traction over the years as music stations, like Apple Carplay and Sirius radio take over. He feels getting rid of AM radio completely is not the answer.

“You really got to know the personalities on the air because they were talking more. They were really connecting with the audience. We will have lost something because of that,” said Pressman.

However, Pressman does not believe radio will be pushed out altogether because it is such a big part of what people consume while driving.

“I know when I’m in the car mostly, practically all the time I’ve got the radio on,” Pressman recalls.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, disagrees saying the Federal Government must prioritize policies to promote freedom of choice.

Following some backlash, Ford has changed it’s tune and CEO Jim Farley, tweeted in May that the company will include AM radio in all Ford and Lincoln vehicles moving forward.

BMW, Volkswagen, Mazda and Tesla will also not be adding AM radio into its future cars. There’s no word on whether it will backtrack on its decision.