The Ford Motor Company announced on Oct. 18 that it will offer Sirius Satellite Radio in more of its cars and trucks and that it will begin installing the Satellite Radio systems at its factories for the first time, according to the New York Times newspaper. This month, Howard Stern signed a five-year deal to broadcast exclusively on Sirius, starting in 2006. Sirius has also signed deals to broadcast games of the National Football League and the National Hockey League and to give Maxim magazine and the rapper Eminem their own channels. Currently, Sirius is available in nine Ford models; Ford will offer Sirius as a dealer-installed option in four more vehicles before the end of the year. Ford is the last of the Big Three automakers to offer satellite radio as a factory-installed option, and falls behind both Chrysler and General Motors in the number of vehicles with the service available. General Motors currently offers XM satellite radio on 57 of its vehicle lines, while Chrysler offers Sirius in nearly all of its 25 vehicles. Ford said it hoped to have Sirius available as a factory-installed option in up to 20 vehicle lines by the 2007 model year. While Sirius is sold in both Ford and Chrysler vehicles, XM has signed a 12-year contract with General Motors, the nation's largest automobile maker. General Motors, which includes Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Cadillac and Saturn, estimates that XM will be installed in two million of its cars by the end of the year. Sirius estimated that its deal with Chrysler, which was announced in April, would generate an additional 500,000 subscribers.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials