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Ford vehicles about to get Sirius radios

Four models are to be satellite-hooked in 2005 as the countdown to 1 million subscription mark begins.

The first Ford models fitted with Sirius Satellite radio will hit the market this month, the companies said on Monday.

Sirius' radio will be a factory-installed option in the Ford F-150 pickup for the 2006 model year. The radio will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $195, which includes a six-month subscription to the Sirius service. Sirius charges a monthly subscription fee of $12.95.

The radios will come pre-activated at the dealership, making it possible to immediately access the service after customers pick up the vehicle, Ford said.

Three more Ford and Lincoln Mercury models will come out "Sirius-ready" before the end of the year: the Lincoln Mark pickup in September and SUVs Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer by December.

Ford had earlier announced plans for about 90 percent of Ford and Lincoln Mercury vehicles to have Sirius satellite radios as a factory-installed option for the 2008 model year. This will include all 21 vehicle lines that are covered under the two brand names.

The Detroit-based carmaker expects at least one million Sirius subscriptions in 2006 and 2007 model years.