Ford to Remove AM Radios from Most New Cars in 2024: According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford’s spokesperson Wes Sherwood said:
“We are transitioning from AM radio for most new and updated 2024 models. A majority of U.S. AM stations, as well as a number of countries and automakers globally, are modernizing radio by offering internet streaming through mobile apps, FM, digital and satellite radio options. Ford will continue to offer these alternatives for customers to hear their favorite AM radio music, news and podcasts as we remove amplitude modulation — the definition of AM in this case — from most new and updated models we bring to market.”
According to Sherwood, this won’t prevent commercial cars from including AM radio because of the existing contract wording.
Ford’s decision is in line with those of other manufacturers, such as Volvo and German businesses, who have previously abandoned AM radio in their electrified vehicles. For example, Tesla has been selling all-electric cars for a long time without AM radio.
According to Gartner Research Group analyst Mike Ramsey in Stamford, CT: “In essence, EV motors generate a lot of electromagnetic interference that affects the frequencies of AM radio and make it difficult to get a clear signal. It could be shielded, but given the diminishing listening habits to AM, the automakers haven’t chosen to do it. Most of the content there is available through other means, including podcast and internet streaming. In my view, this isn’t that different from automakers discontinuing 8-track players, cassette players and CD players. Technology has advanced. The idea that it is a critical safety channel is a bit suspect given that almost all critical communication now is sent through mobile phones.”
Neither General Motors nor Stellantis, which owns Chrysler, have announced any intentions to modify AM reception in 2024 models.
A spokesperson for General Motors Stuart Fowle says“We are evaluating AM radio on future vehicles and not providing any further details at this time.”
Stellantis spokesman Jodi Tinson said that the company’s Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram vehicles should continue to have AM radio.
There has been some backlash to the plan to phase out AM radio from the broadcasting industry’s top executives, as well as from lawmakers. AM radio’s usefulness in times of crisis was highlighted by Alex Siciliano, senior vice president for communication at the National Association of Broadcasters.
“There’s no question that AM radio plays a critical role in informing Americans and keeping them safe; it is the backbone of the Emergency Alert System. This is why numerous policymakers and FEMA representatives have sounded alarm bells for automakers,” Siciliano told the Free Press.
“We are certain that Ford does not want to alienate the nearly 48 million Americans who listen to AM radio, and we’ll continue working closely with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation and individual manufacturers to keep this important service in cars.”