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Exclusive: GM Says It’s “Tweaking” HD Radio Implementation

Automaker plans to bring the digital radio tech to more models

General Motors is focused on tweaking its implementation of HD Radio in some models — that’s why the automaker removed it from five models for the 2015 model year: the Chevy Traverse, Chevy Silverado truck, Buick Enclave and Regal as well as the Chevy Impala. However the goal is to bring the technology to more GM models.

GM Manager Engineering & Safety Communications Jennie Ecclestone tells Radio World that “based on customer feedback we had received on our initial HD Radio application, we decided to refine this technology and removed it from some vehicles.”

That feedback had to do with the blend back and forth between analog and digital reception. Customers found that disruptive, she said in an interview. “There’s a pause when you switch between analog and HD. We’re working on tweaking that pattern to see” if there are other “transitions.” She couldn’t elaborate on what customers said the blend sounded like to them.

“Our goal is to provide our customers with the best possible HD Radio system performance and we are taking the time to perfect this and bring it back to a larger set of vehicles for our customers to enjoy,” said Ecclestone.

She couldn’t say exactly when GM would bring HD back into the specific models, though she did clarify that barring a mid-cycle change, a full model year lasts 12 months.

When asked if GM was replacing HD Radio with streaming in the dash as part of an infotainment platform change, she said no.

Here’s a list of GM vehicles that still include HD Radio, and we’re reporting today that all Cadillacs offer HD Radio and it’s standard in the 2015 Escalade:

Model Year 2014
Cadillac — Escalade, Escalade ESV, SRX, XTS, CTS, ELR, ATS
Buick — Enclave, Lacrosse, Regal
Chevrolet — Suburban, Tahoe, Silverado LD, Impala, Corvette
GMC — Yukon, Yukon XL, Sierra 

Model Year 2015
Cadillac — Escalade, Escalade ESV, SRX, XTS, CTS, ELR, ATS, ATS Coupe
Chevrolet — Suburban, Tahoe
GMC — Yukon, Yukon XL

Auto Analyst to Radio: Don’t Freak Out