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.
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