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Nissan cars to tune in XM

New cars fitted with special navigation systems will be able to receive the latest traffic data via the satellite service.

XM Satellite Radio will supply data services like traffic alerts and messaging to Nissan vehicles fitted with special navigation systems, the companies announced Monday.

The deal builds on an existing partnership, under which Nissan offers the option of satellite radio on 18 of its models. XM also has arrangements to deliver entertainment and data via satellite to car makers including General Motors, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen/Audi. Additionally, the company says its services will soon be available on airlines JetBlue and AirTran Airways.

Satellite radio companies have of late been coaxing automakers to preinstall satellite receivers in their cars as an extra feature. Mercedes-Benz has decided to install receivers from Sirius in all its 2005 models.

Separately, XM has said recently that it hopes to almost double the number of subscribers to its for-fee radio service from 3.2 million in 2004 to 5.5 million in 2005.

"Nissan's choice to expand its relationship with XM in this important area of data services and telematics capabilities represents a major milestone for our company," XM's chief executive, Hugh Panero, said in a statement. "XM has dedicated significant resources to the development of XM NavTraffic and other automotive data capabilities over the last two years."