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Toyota tunes in satellite radio

Music from XM and Sirius will be options in nine Toyota, Lexus and Scion models starting in 2005.

Auto maker Toyota on Tuesday entered into separate deals with rival satellite radio service providers Sirius and XM.

Under its agreement with Sirius, Toyota will offer Sirius Satellite Radio service--either as a post-production or dealer-installed option--in nine models belonging to the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands starting in February 2005.

The radios, with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $299, excluding labor costs, can receive 120 commercial-free music, sports and news radio channels. The monthly subscription fee for the service will be $12.95.

In a separate announcement, Toyota said it has chosen XM Radio to provide satellite data services for 10 different models. The service, whose pricing has not been disclosed, will be available as a dealer-installed option starting in 2005. Vehicles with factory-installed XM radios will have to wait until 2006, however.

XM has a bouquet of 130 satellite channels that offer music, news, sports, weather and traffic information.

Sirius, which has had a deal with DaimlerChrysler for years, recently inked an agreement with Mercedes to offer its systems in the car maker's vehicles starting next year.

Satellite radio has garnered much attention recently, after Sirius lured Howard Stern and XM launched its Delphi MyFi handheld radio.