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Sirius and XM satellite radio on Subaru cars

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TORONTO (CP) _ As Canadians grapple with the choice between satellite radio providers Sirius and XM, automaker Subaru as usual is going its own way and has chosen both, but in different models.

The Japan-based carmaker, known for quirky design and robust all-wheel drive, is offering optional satellite radio capability on 2007 models as they go on sale this year.

XM service will be available on upscale Legacy and Outback models, as well as the big B9 Tribeca.

On the smaller Forester and Impreza lines, Sirius will be the satellite-radio option.

That will provide shock-jock Howard Stern to buyers of Subaru's high-performance WRX models and other small cars, while drivers of bigger and plusher Subarus get Oprah Winfrey and what XM claims is premium sports coverage.

``Sirius Canada is thrilled that its satellite receivers and premium 100-channel service will be available in Subaru's top selling vehicles,'' Mark Redmond, president and CEO of Sirius Canada, said in a news release.

``We are pleased that XM Canada satellite radios will be available in Subaru's top selling model vehicles,'' Stephen Tapp, president of XM Canada, said in the same release.

Katsuhiro Yokoyama, president of Subaru Canada, said the unit of Fuji Heavy Industries ``is delighted to partner with both Sirius and XM to provide a rich variety of music, sports and talk-radio programming to our customers.''

A Subaru Canada spokeswoman explained that the satellite-radio model split is in line with what Subaru is doing in the United States, where Legacies and B9s are built at Lafayette, Ind., while Imprezas and Foresters are imported from Japan.

Subaru sold 16,000 vehicles in Canada last year, about one per cent of the new cars purchased in the country.

Among high-volume automakers, XM has a partnership with market leader General Motors, while Sirius has a deal with Chrysler in Canada and the United States and has an arrangement with Ford in the U.S. but not yet in Canada.

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Sirius and XM satellite radio on Subaru cars
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