GM Drops HD Radio From Some 2015 Models


I had heard GM was leaving HD Radio out of the 2015 Chevy Traverse and confirmed that with iBiquity Digital, which had indicated its technology was being removed “for a period of time” and iBiquity’s working with GM on future generation radio platforms.

Today, a blog, GM Authority, which looks like it compares spec sheets given to dealers for new cars, indicates HD was also removed from more models, specifically the 2015 Silverado Truck, Buick Enclave and Regal as well as the Impala.

That got my attention. I’ve reached out to GM for confirmation and to ask why. 

IBiquity Digital’s Joe D’Angelo tells me today that overall, the trend for HD Radio adoption in new vehicles remains strong. “HD Radio receivers are being installed by every automaker. While HD Radio receivers remain in all Cadillac models, there will be some slowdown in adoption with other GM brands for a period of time. Industry wide, we are pleased that soon close to 40% of all new vehicles sold in America will be HD Radio-equipped.”

Yet, this looks bad. GM is one of the so-called “Big 3” U.S. automakers. And it comes on top of the recent news about BMW leaving AM out of the dash for electric models i3 and i8. HD Radio is standard on those models, we’ve reported.

Getting back to dropping HD from the dash, is this a trend? Is “temporary” really temporary in GM’s case, I asked.

D’Angelo says “We can’t talk about planning” and he directed me to the automotive portion of the Alliance website, which he says is updated regularly. Today, that shows 177 vehicle models available with the technology.

Looking at the GM brands on-site, HD had been standard equipment on the Chevy Traverse, and remains available in the Corvette. HD remains on four Cadillac models, including the ATS and is standard on the CTS, SRX and XTS. HD remains on GMs two Acadia models, the Sierra and it’s standard on the Acadia.

IBiquity is pretty constrained in what they can say, because the automakers themselves want to control what features they promote, or not, for their vehicles. It’s not like the automakers are going to issue a press release to say, “Here’s what we left out so we can make it easier for you to connect your phone to the dash and control your big-screen interface.”

And it may not be entirely a technology question, though iBiquity’s technology is bundled with a lot of other tech in vehicles. Over the years, the company has told me they still need to justify to the automakers having HD in the vehicle. Automakers focus on costs down to the penny for every car component, the glass, steel, rug, etc. and they balance that with the need to include features they believe customers will want so they can sell vehicles. Notice the automaker has also purportedly removed satellite radio and GM’s own in-house OnStar, too from the Impala according to the blog, while adding 4G LTE and Wi-Fi capability.

Automakers design their cars some 18 months or so in advance on average, so we don’t know what’s coming down the pike. To say the least, discussion of all of this at the upcoming Radio Show should be pretty interesting.


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Wanting to know it I am the only one having this problem. I get great music for 5 min or less then it starts to search for a HD. Sometimes there is no music for 5 to 9 min, then i'll get a few seconds or maybe 1 min of music before the search starts again. I've taken it in to the dealer twice and was told nothing was wrong with the radio and it was in good working order. Whats with that? I mean is this a way to get people to buy paid radio? Is there any help for me out there?
By Johnetta Brooks on 6/6/2015
I love my Sirius/XM radio, and I owned radio stations for years. It just seems too many stations program too many commercials, plus I enjoy FOX News and CNN when traveling. I seldom have interference. My new Ford F-150 has HD radio, so suppose I need to switch over from Sirius and hear the sounds.
By Ted on 12/26/2014
I remember some years back, "strong rumors" that the HD receiver chipset was $40. Try as I might, I couldn't find any solid confirmation of this... nor could I find any solid denials. It would explain why sub $100 radios were non-existent for years. Then... they started appearing on "clearance" shelves in the $80 range. As for cars... I know someone who has family that own car dealerships. A few years ago, the #1 reason customers were returning their new cars? "Faulty radios". What was wrong with them? They were "HD", and people were aggravated with the constant drop-outs and switching back/forth.
By Willie... on 10/10/2014
RIP--HD (Hybrid Digital) ....You were a flawed, obsolete technology when you were introduced, so it's no wonder you have failed.
By sammy g on 9/8/2014
PS: James Walker said that he could not find an "HD box" at Walmart. I have seen digital "I-D Radio" receivers at Walmart, but only for cars. There should be home receivers for digital radio. Sony stopped offering their home receiver for "I-D Radio".
By James Johnson on 9/3/2014
We just bought a 2015 Chevy Transverse and like the car very much. We thought we were going to have HD Radio as one of the features we liked about the car. Now we find out that it has been eliminated and we are disappointed. Why would GM make such a change and not even let the dealership know that this feature was eliminated? We wonder if GM will replace our radio when they decide to put the HD Radio back in the Transverse.
By Adolfo Figeac on 9/2/2014
If my local digital stations went analog only I would only listen to one or two stations if I am not in my car. I would stream Pandora and other services more than now. "HD Radio" provides more diversity of programming. Perhaps part of the problem is that auto makers want to make the antenna disappear and the low profile and invisible antennas do not perform very well. My car has an invisible antenna and can not keep FM stations in stereo even though I am within ten miles of many 100,000 watt stations. I do not like it when my radio goes mono. If my radio had "HD Radio" (I-D radio) then I am sure that the bad antenna would shorten the range of the digital signal.
By James Johnson on 8/31/2014
I have HD radio in my VW. I enjoy it, as a ham and radio buff, but the problem is that the power level of the digital is too low, so you get the st-st-stutter when the radio goes from digital to analog. The programs should be matched on the streams, but often aren't. I live about 40 miles from the NYC transmitters in the hills, so there is a LOT of on/off digital-analog. The other issue is that the subchannels drop off a cliff and are all or nothing. Near the city, they work well, but out in the hills, you really can't use it. Pity too, as many of the subchannels are interesting. The hybrid system is just annoying. Go full digital, or stay full analog. On another note, there is NOT currently produced a stand alone HD receiver for the home. What is up with that ???
By Casey on 8/28/2014
Well, well. GM realizes what value HD radio has: none. Can't buy an HD box at Wal-Mart either. If the public really wanted HD radio outfits like this would offer it. Broadcasters had better wake up and realize that they are becoming obsolete and irrelevant. It's the CONTENT that matters. If the content is forgettable, the delivery mode is unimportant.
By james walker on 8/28/2014
You reached out to GM for confirmation to ask why? Good luck with that. GM is probably not going to tell the truth that the many GM customers with IBOC radio are complaining about constant drop outs as is plain in many GM customer forums. I am sure they are afraid the vultures at ibiquity will try to sue their pants off if they tell the truth.
By Bob Young on 8/28/2014
Does anyone care what Chevrolet, or GM for that matter, does anymore? Bought a new Toyota recently it came with both HD and a trial of satellite radio. Already got the letter from SIRI begging us to subscribe now, before the trial ends. Fat chance we'd pay $17-18 per month for the low quality audio and spotty reception of satellite radio (we might have paid $5 per month since the content choices are extensive). I set up the FM radio to seek only to HD FM stations. Since nearly every FM station in the area is HD, this eliminated only a few stations which essentially no longer exist for us--dumb broadcasters!
By Ursula Jorge on 8/28/2014
I hope it is the beginning of the end for HD. Without a post detection filter, it creates a lot of IBOC noise on analog tuners.
By Bob on 8/27/2014
The vast public of 1 potential GM product buyer is bereft, shocked, and dismayed. A petition against the GM movement is online and is being underwhelmed to the point that the server has capacity of which only 1/10th will ever be reached! Big consolidators took promotion, advertising, positioning, branding, and marketing seriously by only promoting on their own free air. They have run thousand of hour on their O&O stations for even greater sum of dollar with no help from print or other complementary, cross-pollinating media. The DIE is cast. How's that working out for ya?
By Ollie Tabuger on 8/27/2014

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