General Motors has lowered the option price of factory-installed XM Satellite Radio by 39 percent to $199, from $325, beginning with most model-year 2007 vehicles. More than 90 percent of GM's model-year 2006 and 2007 U.S. retail vehicles offer factory-installed XM Satellite Radios as either an option or as standard equipment. But what will XM sound like in another year or so? Will it merge with Sirius, has has been strongly rumored? Is now the time to buy mobile and/or home satellite receivers, or should buyers give it another season or two?
"The economies of scale and engineering efficiencies brought by the rapid pace of XM Radio installations across GM's product lineup allow us to pass along cost savings to our customers," said Mark LaNeve, vice president of GMNA Sales, Service and Marketing. "XM Radio has become a must-have feature for many customers and demand just continues to grow. Chevrolet alone has produced over two million XM-equipped vehicles."
Consumer acceptance has made factory installation of XM Satellite Radio one of the most rapid technology rollouts in GM history. More than 60 percent of current GM customers with XM-equipped vehicles say they will prefer their next vehicle be equipped with XM Radio and 80 percent say they will recommend it to friends and family. General Motors, the industry leader in offering factory-installed satellite radio equipped vehicles, has built over 4 million XM-equipped vehicles since 2001 -- more than all other vehicle manufacturers combined.
XM is the exclusive satellite radio partner of GM, which offers more than 50 vehicle models that feature XM Satellite Radio -- the most extensive model line up of satellite-equipped vehicles in the industry. GM was the first vehicle manufacturer to introduce satellite radio in 2001 as a factory-installed option on 2002 Cadillac DeVille and Seville models. XM Satellite Radio is standard on all Cadillac models. All GM retail vehicle sales with factory-installed XM radios include a three-month trial service period.
Sirius and XM both have huge problems, almost ALL of it having to do with the initial investment in the equipment. All-new digital studios (over 50 of them alone at the Sirius facility in Washington, DC and the same thing at XM's building near Rockefeller Center in NYC) cost a LOT ... Satellites cost a LOT ... Though much of the costs can be amortized off over several years, the huge debt for both of these companies still must be 'serviced' regularly (and so do I, to be honest --- OK, just seeing if you're still reading).
Also, many of the stations on both services are essentially simulcasts (BBC, CNN Fox News, etc) and the popular non-commercial music channels are also much alike. How many ways can you spell "jazz"? How many different ways can you present it? There are also a lot of channels WITH commercials ... NASCAR included.
Finally, there are a LOT of big-name celebs being paid MILLIONS by both satellite outfits (Oprah, Martha Stewart) who are not from radio and know NOTHING about it. NOT a good mixture for near-term or future success ... and not something which makes share-holders (like me) very happy.