DETROIT Usually when an automaker offers new-car buyers satellite radio, it tosses in as much as 12 months of free service. Volvo Cars of North America Inc. is taking a different approach.
Volvo said this week it will offer customers two months of free service from Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. But theres a catch.
They want people to have it installed, pay the $142 for the 11-months service, get the two months of free service and then Volvo will reimburse them, Sirius spokesman Jim Collins says.
Satellite radio will be a dealership-installed option on the 2005 S60, S80, V70 and XC70. Volvo has not said how much it will charge to outfit vehicles with the option.
Volvos decision could give a hint of what parent company Ford Motor Co. will do when it begins to offer the service. Ford has said it will offer Sirius as a factory-installed option in 21 models this year.
The Chrysler group gives its new-car buyers one year of free satellite radio. By comparison, BMW new-car buyers get up to 14 months, depending on the model they purchase.
Also this week, Sirius competitor XM Satellite Radio Inc. said it will raise its monthly subscription fee to match Sirius. Beginning April 2, subscription rates for the companys 3.2 million subscribers will rise from $9.99 to $12.95 a month. Sirius, with 1.1 million monthly subscribers, already charges $12.95 a month.
XM says it is offering a deal to current subscribers that would lower their rates if they take multiyear subscriptions.