April 5 (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC has become the first auto manufacturer to sign on to install in its vehicles the new Sirius XM radios that can carry more Spanish-language channels and other content, the companies said on Thursday.
Sirius XM’s new radios are available in stores, but Chrysler is the first company to outfit new vehicles with them. They will be available in Chrysler Ram 1500 trucks and Viper sports cars, the companies said in a statement during the New York International Auto Show.
Chrysler, the No. 3 U.S. automaker, will carry the new radios exclusively for a year. Sirius XM has said it was working with other automakers but no accouchements have been made yet.
The satellite radio provider’s main growth comes from its automobile listeners, who sign up for the service after they receive a few months of promotions when buying a car. The company said in February that its radios are installed in 67 percent of new vehicles sold in the United States, up from 62 percent a year earlier.
Sirius XM, which has 21.9 million subscribers, is facing increased competition from Internet radio companies such as Pandora, which car companies such as General Motors are touting in TV advertisements. Pandora said on Thursday it had 51 million active listeners at the end of March.
The satellite radio company is trying to stand out by paying for exclusive content such as Howard Stern’s radio show and 19 channels of Spanish-language programming.
Shares of Sirius XM were 4 cents higher at $2.33 while Fiat, which has been running Chrysler since a 2009 bailout deal backed by the U.S. government, saw its shares rise 3 percent in Italy on Thursday.