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Anyone wanna bet on whether the Fusion'll have it?



By John Porretto / Associated Press
DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will begin offering Sirius Satellite Radio as a factory-installed option in four vehicle lines this summer and will increase that number to up to 21 vehicle lines in the next two years, the two companies said Tuesday.

Beginning this summer, Sirius will come factory installed on the 2006 Ford F-150, Ford Explorer, Lincoln Mark LT and Mercury Mountaineer.

Ford, Lincoln and Mercury are targeting another 17 models for the factory-installed option for the 2006 and 2007 models years, which would make it available on 80 percent of all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models.

Ford said it expects to generate up to 1 million Sirius subscribers over the 2006 and 2007 model-year periods. It already offers Sirius as a dealer-installed option on a variety of models.

"Ford is a very important automotive relationship for us, and we're very pleased they plan to offer factory-installed Sirius in the vast majority of their vehicle lines," Sirius chief executive Mel Karmazin said.

Sirius and larger rival XM Satellite Radio provide commercial-free music and numerous channels of news, traffic, sports and other programming for a monthly fee. They're spending heavily in hopes of turning profitable by cultivating the emerging market for satellite-delivered radio, which, unlike local radio stations, can be heard anywhere in the country.

Both are looking to the automotive industry as an avenue to grow listenership and revenue.

XM, the market leader with roughly 2.5 million subscribers to Sirius' roughly 1 million, has exclusive deals with General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Co.p., among others. Sirius' partners to date include Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG.

Shares of Sirius were up 6 cents at $7.54 in early trading Tuesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Ford shares were off 4 cents at $14.67 on the New York Stock Exchange.
 
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