Sirius XM Follows Clint Eastwood's Advice

Clint Eastwood had one of this year's more memorable Super Bowl ads with his "It's halftime, America" spot for Chrysler, but Dirty Harry isn't the only one believing in satellite radio these days.

Chrysler -- now run by Italy's Fiat (NASDAQOTH: FIATY.PK) -- will be the first automaker to embrace the Sirius XM 2.0 platform that was introduced by Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) last year.

The new radios come with some nifty features. Most importantly, they offer up roughly two dozen additional stations that aren't available on the first generation of receivers.

We knew this moment was coming.

Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin announced last year that at least one car manufacturer would be upgrading to the new receivers in 2012. The only surprise here is that Chrysler is the one planting the flag.

General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) and Ford (NYSE: F  ) are not only larger car companies, but they were also investors during the early years when Sirius and XM were separate companies.

GM could have used Sirius XM 2.0 to stand out against the advanced dashboard technology offered up by Ford. The case for Ford being first is simply a matter of retaining its audio entertainment edge.

GM and Ford will have to wait until at least 2013. Chrysler has been given a year of exclusivity here, and the receivers will be initially available in Chrysler Ram 1500 trucks and Viper cars.

Chrysler's game plan is to raise the stakes with factory-installed receivers that no other car manufacturer will be able to offer. If Sirius XM and Chrysler can come together to show drivers why the new receivers are special, it sounds like a winning game plan.

As we learned during the February Super Bowl itself, sometimes winning or losing comes down to the play of the receivers.

Running of the bulls
I remain bullish on Sirius XM's future. It should come as no surprise that I'm promoting the CAPScall initiative for accountability by reiterating my bullish call on Sirius XM for Motley Fool CAPS.

XM Satellite Radio was a Rule Breakers recommendation before the Sirius XM merger. It's now gone from the scorecard, but if you want to discover the newsletter service's next Rule-Breaking multibagger, a free report reveals all.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Ford. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of General Motors and Ford Motor. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic long position in Ford Motor. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2012, at 12:49 PM, Brent2223 wrote:

    Hmmm, targeting work trucks and super exclusive sports cars may not really get the word out there, but a positive move none the less.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2012, at 12:12 PM, ByrneShill wrote:

    Dude, nobody will spend 50k$+ on a car or truck just because of the radio receiver. If you base your strategy on this, you're gonna be fodder.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2012, at 12:32 AM, DR1P wrote:

    "Dude, nobody will spend 50k$+ on a car or truck just because of the radio receiver. If you base your strategy on this, you're gonna be fodder."

    You have to be kidding. Nobody is saying that customers will go out and buy a new vehicle just so they can get a new Serius XM radio. Is that what you understood from this? Really? If you get that kind of an understanding from reading a business article, YOU'RE "gonna be fodder". The reasoning is that if someone is already in the market for a new vehicle, a Sirius XM radio with more capabilities than the one offered by a competing manufacturer could be the tipping point if someone is trying to decide.

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