Auto manufacturers say aftermarket CarPlay support will be difficult

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The hope that older vehicles and aftermarket products will eventually support Apple’s new CarPlay system took a bit of a blow yesterday. How-to website AppleToolbox spoke with reps from both Volvo and Ferrari, and both made it sound like it’s going to be extremely difficult to do.

In fact, Ferrari has dismissed the possibility all together, saying that CarPlay “is available only on new range cars and cannot be installed on older ones.” Volvo, on the other hand, hasn’t ruled it out yet, but admits those adding aftermarket CarPlay support will face “major roadblocks.”

Here are the full statements from the two companies, again via AppleToolbox, Ferrari first:

The new system CarPlay is available only on new range cars and cannot be installed on older ones. However, since we know that infotainment solutions are really important for our customers and also owners of older vehicles deserve the same care as all other customers, we developed an AfterMarket product aimed at offering last generation infotainment, completely compatible with most recent phones. This new product is already available for F430, 355 and 360 Modena, while in the next few months it will be offered also for 599, 612 Scaglietti and first versions of California.

Ok, the majority of us probably don’t own, or plan to own, Ferraris. So here is what Volvo said:

We have not announced any plans for an aftermarket solution for Apple CarPlay. While I cannot reveal any potential future products, I can say that there are major roadblocks for this, both from a technical as well as from a usability point-of-view.

Additionally, MacRumors’ Eric Slivka spoke with a representative from Kenwood who said that CarPlay support wouldn’t be in any of their 2014 products—meaning at least a year’s wait. The rep admitted they’re looking at the tech, but they’re also considering Google’s in-car offering.

A Pioneer customer service rep offered similar comments earlier this week, saying that the company was “looking into the possibility” of adding CarPlay support to current and future products. Mercedes Benz too—although to be fair, it’s actually looking to launch something this year.

Mercedes-Benz (CarPlay 005)

So I guess the moral of the story here is that unless you plan on buying a new car in the not-too-distant future, your chances of getting CarPlay into your vehicle (short of a hack job) aren’t looking very good. But who knows, maybe Apple will announce different at WWDC later this year.

For more information on what CarPlay is, click here.