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Sirius Extends OEM Programs; XM Adds MSNBC

New York — Sirius Satellite Radio announced new OEM initiatives today toward its plan to offer Sirius service in 80 vehicle models this year, with 50 of those comprising factory-installed programs.

Sirius president and CEO Joe Clayton said Daimler Chrysler will introduce Sirius service as a factory option on the new Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300C this spring. In addition, Chrysler will add seven new vehicle factory programs with Sirius by the end of the year.

Ford is expected to announce its factory programs with Sirius in the third quarter, Clayton said, and both Mercedes Benz and BMW will offer dealer factory programs in March.

On the retail side, Sirius said it quadrupled its market share in aftermarket products since lat year, from 8 percent to 33 percent. It’s share for December 2003 was 38 percent, according to Clayton.

Other news announcements from Sirius include an agreement with trucking companies Penske Automotive Group and United Auto Group to promote Sirius in all vehicles sold or leased.

XM Satellite Radio today also made several announcements. The company says it will offer XM Direct kits for Ford and Chrysler dealerships in May. The kits will allow Sirius-ready factory units for these cars to work with XM service. The kits cost approximately $399 installed.

XM also announced it will add the MSNBC 24-hour news network to its programming and several other live talk-show programs that will air on current channels. Among the hosts will be Dennis Miller, Michael Savage, Matt Drudge, The Wall Street Journal and Car and Driver Radio.