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Reuters / December 07, 2004
NEW YORK -- Toyota Motor Corp. will offer XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. radios as a factory-installed option starting in 2006, XM said on Tuesday.

Customers buying Toyota and Lexus vehicles can opt for installation of the radios before cars are is shipped to local dealers. XM, like rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., provides nationwide music, talk and sports programming for a monthly fee.

Separately, Sirius said Toyota will offer Sirius radios as an option installed by local dealers in nine models beginning in February 2005.

Toyota will expand the number of models with XM radios as a dealer-installed option in 2005.

The installation of radios in new cars is seen as a key growth area for Sirius and XM.

Stocks for both money-losing companies have been rising steadily in recent weeks, reaching multiyear highs. Shares of Sirius have hit a roughly three-year high, while shares of XM are trading at a four-year high.

Sirius lags behind XM in subscribers and exclusive ties with automakers. XM has a head start in auto subscriptions with General Motors, offering XM receivers as an option on most new cars.

XM leads the market, with more than 2.5 million subscribers, compared with about 800,000 at Sirius. But Sirius has grabbed more attention in recent months with the addition of radio industry veteran Mel Karmazin as its new chief executive and its plan to host Howard Stern's popular radio show beginning in 2006.

Ford Motor Co. has said it would offer Sirius as a factory-installed option in future models.
 
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