Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. is working to increase significantly the rate of factory installation by its automotive partners, the company's chairman says.
Joseph Clayton says the nation's No. 2 satellite radio company also is negotiating new alliances. They include a possible deal with Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
This month, Sirius hired Mel Karmazin, former COO of Viacom Inc., to replace Clayton as its CEO. Clayton will continue to head the Sirius board.
The company did not disclose the overall level of factory installation of Sirius radios. Sirius is a factory option on 50 nameplates and a dealer option on 30 other nameplates. Sirius' partners include Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG and BMW of North America LLC.
The top satellite radio service, XM Radio, is available on more than 110 nameplates. About two-thirds of those nameplates offer XM as a factory option, the company says.
Clayton predicts that in three to five years, Sirius will earn 75 percent of its revenue from the auto industry, up from about 25 percent today.
"The whole secret is to ramp up factory programs through all of those car manufacturers," Clayton says.
Satellite radio service is easier to sell as a factory option than as a dealer-installed option, he says.
The Chrysler group charges $200 to install Sirius at the factory, compared with $299 and labor costs as a dealer option.