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Sirius XM to acquire telematics biz of Agero for $530 million in cash

Sirius XM Radio Inc. has reached an agreement to purchase the connected-vehicle services business of Agero Inc. for $530 million in cash. The purchase means Sirius would have the capability to provide telematics services for vehicles like security, safety and other technologies. The concerned companies are expected to finalize and complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2013, Sirius said in a statement.

Sirius currently offers radio and data services in more than 50 million vehicles. Sirius said the acquisition will enable it to provide connected-vehicle services to more carmakers like Acura, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, than any other provider. Sirius chief executive Jim Meyer said in the statement that the deal accelerates the company's "development in architecture supporting connected vehicle services, as well as the ability to provide services over both satellite and cellular networks."

In July, Sirius selected AT&T to provide mobile connectivity for the telematics system it is developing for Nissan Motor Co. in North America. Nissan selected SiriusXM to be its exclusive telematics supplier in September 2012.

Read the entire article Sirius XM to acquire telematics biz of Agero for $530 million in cash

Ford first to offer in-vehicle access to SiriusXM Internet Radio App

Ford Motor Co. is offering in-vehicle access to the SiriusXM Internet Radio App, the first carmaker to do so. The Internet Radio App allows drivers of Sync AppLink-equipped vehicles to gain access to MySXM and SiriusXM On Demand alongside satellite radio. Drivers could control Internet Radio App by just issuing voice commands or through the steering wheel or radio controls.

Sirius said the MySXM enables users to customize several Sirius commercial-free music channels and choose comedy programming. The On Demand feature allows users to access over 300 episodes from the Sirius show catalog. Over a million Ford vehicles with SYNC AppLink can use the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

To use the new feature, Internet Radio subscribers just need to download the latest version of the application for their iPhone and Android smartphones. Ford’s move to offer such access comes at a time when customers expect their vehicles to complement their digital lifestyles.

Read the entire article Ford first to offer in-vehicle access to SiriusXM Internet Radio App

Pandora Media threatening the sales dominance of Sirius XM Radio

Due to the accessibility of Internet connections, Pandora Media Inc. is slowly gaining ground and is threatening the sales dominance of Sirius XM Radio Inc. in the U.S. Proving just how valuable the auto industry is to the two companies, their top officials appeared at Las Vegas this week to get in touch with automakers at the annual Consumer Electronics Show.

In about 70% of new vehicles, the satellite radios of Sirius XM are used. It gets most of its revenue from subscriptions and gets only a fraction from advertising dollars. This is a sharp contrast to streaming service Pandora, which gets majority of its revenue from advertising. It also runs a still-small subscription business.

Currently, Sirius XM is much bigger with nearly 24 million subscribers and over $3 billion in annual revenue. It had an average revenue of $12.14 per subscriber in the third quarter. On the other hand, Pandora has 60 million users. Of this number, around 1 million are paid subscribers. It is presently on course to generate $424 million in revenue this year.

Read the entire article Pandora Media threatening the sales dominance of Sirius XM Radio

Sirius XM tops 50 million factory vehicle installations

Sirius XM Radio Inc. had passed 50 million factory vehicle installations of its satellite radios, the company said in a statement. The satellite radio provider expects to pass 100 million factory vehicle installations by 2018.  The company added that SiriusXM will be fitted in almost 70 percent of new vehicles sold in the United States in 2012.

Jim Meyer, president of operations and sales at Sirius XM, said that the growing installation rate means that SiriusXM is not only available to most new-car buyers, but also to more used-car buyers. Earlier in August, Sirius XM posted a 14-percent increase in subscribers in the second quarter of 2012, thanks to higher new-vehicle sales.

During the second quarter of 2012, Sirius XM added around 622,000 subscribers, raising its total to 22.9 million. Around 1.02 million people subscribed to Sirius XM in the first six months of 2012.

Read the entire article Sirius XM tops 50 million factory vehicle installations

Sirius XM Radio Inc. posted a 14-percent increase in subscribers in the second quarter of 2012, attributing the surge to higher new-vehicle sales. Sirius XM posted $3.1 billion in net income in the second quarter of 2012, boosted by a $3 billion income tax benefit, compared to $173 million in the same period in 2011.

Sirius XM logged a 13-percent rise in revenues to $837.5 million. At the end of the second quarter 2012, Sirius XM had 22.9 million subscribers, boosted by around 622,000 subscribers during review period, and 1.02 million subscribers during the first half of 2012. According to Sirius XM chief executive Mel Karmazin, around two-thirds of all new vehicles sold in the United States are fitted with a satellite radio and a trial to Sirius, thanks to the company’s long-term deals with carmakers.

Karmazin was also pleased with Sirius XM’s growth in the used-vehicle market. Karmazin said that vehicles relegated to the second-owner market are likely to have a satellite radio. The company’s new-car penetration rate began to increase materially five or six years ago.

Read the entire article Sirius XM attributes 14% rise in subscribers in 2Q to higher new-car sales

Customers who buy a pre-owned vehicle will automatically get a three-month subscription by satellite radio operator Sirius XM Radio Inc. at over 1,000 participating General Motors dealerships throughout the U.S.

The offer applies to all vehicles regardless of the manufacturer. In a statement, Joe Verbrugge, a senior vice president at Sirius XM, said that it’s the first time that participating GM dealers could provide a three-month subscription to Sirius XM for their pre-owned vehicle customers regardless of its brand.

According to Sirius XM, GM dealers will offer the three-month subscription of Sirius XM to those who bought pre-owned Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles that were factory-equipped with satellite radio until the end of this year.

Read the entire article GM to offer a three-month Sirius XM subscription on pre-owned vehicles

The number of subscribers of broadcaster Sirius XM Radio Inc. increased as the auto industry continues to recover after the recession in 2009. The New York-based satellite radio company posted a record 20.6 million subscribers for the first quarter that ended March 31. This stands for a 9% jump compared to the 18.9 million subscribers Sirius XM posted a year ago.

Sirius said that during the first quarter, a net 373,062 subscribers were added. This is a 118% increase over the 171,441 subscribers it recorded for the same period the previous year.

In addition, Sirius XM reported $78.1 million in net income, higher by 88% over the $41.6 million net profit it had in the first quarter of last year.

Read the entire article Sirius XM reported an all-time high 20.6 million subscribers

Sirius XM Radio Inc., which reported 19.8 million customers at the end of the third quarter, told the Federal Communications Commission in a Jan. 20, 2011 filing that the FCC should not extend a price freeze negotiated as part of the 2008 merger that formed the company. Sirius wants to be free to raise its basic monthly subscription from $12.95.

However, Sirius, the New York-based satellite radio broadcaster created by Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.’s purchase of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., did not say in the filing whether it wants to raise rates.

Sirius said in the FCC filing that the company and XM agreed to hold the basic subscription price unchanged for three years after the closing of their merger.

Read the entire article Sirius XM Radio wants to increase its basic monthly subscription from $12.95

In a Jan. 20 filing, Sirius XM Radio Inc., the U.S. satellite radio broadcaster, asked the Federal Communications Commission not to extend a price freeze negotiated as part of the 2008 merger that created the company.

Sirius, which claimed to have 19.8 million customers at the end of the third quarter, said that it wants to be able to increase its basic monthly subscription price from $12.95. Headquartered in New York, Sirius was formed when Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. bought XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.

Sirius didn’t actually indicate in the filing whether it wants to raise rates. In the FCC filing, Sirius said that it has agreed with XM to maintain the basic subscription price for three years after the closing of their merger, the anniversary of which falls on July 28.

Read the entire article Sirius XM Radio asks FCC not to extend or modify price rate cap

Famed actor Mark Wahlberg is known for his many roles, one of which is playing as Cade Yeager in the fourth and fifth installment Transformers film series. In the film, Wahlberg gets to ride Bumblebee, a Chevrolet Camaro. In real life, Wahlberg gets to sell not just a Camaro, but other Chevrolet vehicles in his new car dealership business.

According to a report by The Detroit News, Wahlberg has announced that he is opening a car dealership – his very first -- Columbus, Ohio. Wahlberg’s car dealership is a result of partnership inked with seasoned car dealer, Jay Feldman. A businessman in his own right, Feldman is an owner of not just one, but eight Chevrolet dealerships across southeast and mid-Michigan. The report says that Wahlberg and Feldman have been friends for years now, and are partners in Wahlburgers restaurants in Cleveland and Georgia.

It is easy pretty much easy to locate Wahlberg’s new car dealership in Columbus. After all, the dealership bears his name -- Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet, and it is located in a former Chevrolet dealership the duo has bought in 3900 W. Broad St., Columbus. Interestingly, the Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet dealership will feature the same “W” logo that has come to distinguish his Wahlburger chains. These burger chains are found in a number of locations in the United States, like in Palo Alto, California and in Orlando, Florida. A Wahlburger can also be farther north, in Toronto Canada.

Read the entire article Mark Wahlberg drives into Columbus, Ohio with a new Chevrolet car dealership

At last, the new 2019 Acura RDX is arriving this June, and customers interested in purchasing this reengineered and redesigned SUV would need at least around $38,295 (including destination) in their pockets to own the entry-level version of this luxury vehicle.

The base two-wheel drive model of the 2019 Acura RDX has a window sticker price of $37,300, before $995 in destination fees. The base 2019 RDX with the Super Handling-All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, on the other hand, is priced at $39,300 before $995 destination fees. At this starting price, the Acura RDX is essentially less expensive than the BMW X3 (at $41,000), the Audi Q5 (at $41,500), and the Volvo XC60 (at $41,500). However, the new RDX is bit pricier than the Infiniti QX50 (at $36,550), the Lexus NX (at $35,985) and the Lincoln MKC (at $33,995).

Interestingly, some standard equipment and features on the RDX are offered as optional on more expensive luxury SUVs like the X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300. These include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist as well as road departure mitigation. Furthermore, the base RDX with SH-AWD comes standard with LED headlights, a panoramic moonroof, as well as a set of 19-inch wheels.

Read the entire article 2019 Acura RDX arrives in June with starting price of $37,300 before destination fee

Alexander Schmuck, BMW spokesperson, recently confirmed that the 2019 BMW M2 Competition will finally go on sale in July, with a starting price of $58,900.

BMW also revealed its options range for the brand’s newest high performance model. For instance, getting a metallic paint would cost $550, while a moonroof is priced at $1,050, and the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will be priced at $2,900.

There will also be an M Driver’s Package for $2,500 that will boost the speed limiter to 174 miles per hour (280 kilometers per hour) from the original max speed of 155 miles per hour (249 kilometers per hour). Customers will also be required to join a one-day driving school at the BMW Performance Center. There will also be an $850 Executive Package that includes a heated steering wheel, adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, wireless device charging, and speed limit monitor.

Read the entire article 2019 BMW M2 Competition has $58,900 starting price, sales kick off in July

Automakers have been jumping on the bandwagon of offering subscription vehicle service. You may have already heard about BMW’s Access by BMW or Porsche’s Passport. Now, Mercedes-Benz is planning to join the lateset trend of car sharing with the newest Mercedes-Benz Collection, a monthly subscription that will launch in two United States cities in the summer. These are Nashville, Tennessee, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The two cities will act as test beds for the Mercedes Benz Collection. For some reason, BMW also chose Nashville to be the starting point of their service, while Porsche went for Atlanta, Georgia. In particular, Mercedes Benz Collection will let users swap vehicles depending on their needs and their lifestyles.

As such, there will be different levels to the monthly subscription, and that will depend on how much you are willing to spend too. Subscribers will have an option to rent everything from sedans to SUVs, to roadsters and wagons, including Mercedes-AMG models in each tier.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz Collection subscription service will be launched in two US cities this summer

Audi opened the order books for the Audi R8 V10 RWS ((Rear Wheel Series) in fall 2017 in Europe, with the model already arriving in dealership earlier this year. At the time it was unveiled, it was still unsure whether Audi is bring the new R8 V10 RWS to the United States. Now, the premium carmaker is indeed bringing the R8 V10 RWS, at a hefty starting price of $139,950 each, Motor Trend says citing its own source.

At this pricing, the Audi R8 V10 RWS – the carmaker’s first-ever production and street-legal rear-wheel-drive R8 model – is around $26,000 cheaper than the Quattro model. However, those who are interested in acquiring this edition of the R8 should remain always alert as to when it would arrive in the US, because only 320 examples are allocated for this market. While Audi didn’t give an official date for the arrival of the R8 V10 RWS in the US, it is expected that this would occur in the last quarter of the year.

The German carmaker only needed to get rid of the Quattro all-wheel-drive system to pave way to the RWD layout, thereby giving birth to the R8 V10 RWS. However, its powerful naturally aspirated V10 remains the same. The removal of the Quattro allowed the R8 V10 RWS to trim its weight by as much as 50 kg (110 pounds) for the Coupe model, and around 40 kg (88 lbs.) for the Spyder variant.

Read the entire article Audi R8 V10 RWS is coming to the US at starting price of $139,950

We are all aware that the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will hit dealerships by the end of this year. But that is not the only thing that we are excited about as it will also be cheaper than its predecessor. The company just announced that the MQB based sedan will have a price tag of $18,545 when it goes on sale later this year - excluding handling and destination. This still makes it $100 less than the outgoing model which starts at $18,645.

The VW Jetta comes in a number of different trims, and the most standard one will be the S trim that is equipped with a 1.4 liter turbocharged engine that makes 147 horsepower (109 kilowatts) and 184 pound feet (249 Newton metres) of torque. The Jetta S will then be working with a standard six speed manual transmission, or you could opt for the eight speed automatic transmission for a little more (plus $800). Some its other standard features are its 16 inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, and a 6.5 inch infotainment screen, which has Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with your Apple and Android devices.

The next trim will be the SE model that starts at $22,155. This trim will be getting the same 1.4 liter turbocharged engine that is exclusively paired to an eight speed automatic, without a manual option. Additional features include a panoramic sunroof, a dual zone automatic climate control, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and heated front seats. Safety features that come standard with this include forward collision assist and blind spot monitoring with rear traffic alert.

Read the entire article 2019 VW Jetta costs $100 less than the outgoing model

There seems to be a developing trade war between the United States and China. Something of this nature will result to losses for both parties and is particularly detrimental for the auto industry. Recently, the Unites States proposed an increase of tariffs on products entering the US from China. And in response to that, the People’s Republic of China is proposing something similar. Unfortunately, their policies cover American cars too.

If you’ve been following news reports, you’d know that President Trump first proposed tariffs of about $50 billion of goods coming into the country from China. Increased taxes applied to products including a number of important car parts like torque converters, lithium batteries, and catalytic converters. This has a huge impact on business involving motorcycles and buses.

Subsequently, China decided to suggest tariffs on $50 billion American products that include cars and planes. Even after this exchange between both countries, President Trump still refuses to call this a trade war. But there’s really no other description for this situation except that. In fact, the President of the Unites States even tweeted about this, saying that trade war is long gone and that it only occurred because of the incompetence of the previous administration.

Read the entire article Is there a trade war going on between the US and China?

Finally, the refreshed 2019 Buick Envision has been revealed to us by the automaker. Buick then says that most of these changes on both its looks and its mechanism were made in response to their customers’ feedback for the crossover when the 2016 model year was launched.

The 2019 Buick Envision now has a new front fascia, with the new headlights and the grille that make the facelifted model look more like the other new Buick models. It now sits on a set of 19 inch wheels and the rear has got new taillights as well. HID headlights now come as a standard, and customers could go for the optional LEDs on the top two trim levels.

They can also opt for the optional 2.0 liter inline four engine that carries out 295 pound feet of torque, which is a good improvement from the previous 260. Power output, however, remains at 252 horsepower. This engine is paired to a nine speed automatic transmission instead of the six speed transmission on its predecessor.

Read the entire article Refreshed 2019 Buick Envision gets aesthetic and power tweaks with optional nine-speed automatic

For those of you who are interested to own one of the BMW i8 Roadsters, be ready to spend some serious cash as the convertible that made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year will finally arrive in March. And the good news is that this will come with a handful of new features including the E-Copper leather, 20 inch wheels, a head-up display, and heated front seats, and of course, an inflated price tag.

If BMWBlog sources are valid, the BMW i8 Roadster will have a starting price of $163,300, which does not include the $995 destination fee yet. If the automaker ends up selling it for that price, then it will be the most expensive BMW on the market right now. In fact, that makes it $19,900 more expensive than the current i8 coupe that has a price tag of $143,400.

As usual, if you add all the optional features that the automaker can add to it, this model will dig even deeper into your wallets but it also gets much cooler. For instance, adding a set of laser lights for the i8 Roadster will cost you $6,300.

Read the entire article Starting price of $163,300 on BMW i8 Roadster makes it the highest priced model now

Mercedes-Benz recently announced their newest A-Class model, and we think that the upgraded hatchback looks amazing beside the rest of its siblings, plus the fact that it now highlights the new MBUX infotainment technology that just makes it extra modern - in fact, way more than the rest of the models. With all that good news, there is one thing that might disappoint you, and it is the fact that there will not be a hatchback version of the A-Class in the United States - sorry to burst your bubble.

This is because Mercedes plans to only sell the five door A-Class in markets outside of the United States, while the American market only gets the four-door model. In fact, Canadians will even be able to get their hands on the hatchback configuration. This was confirmed by Mercedes Benz Canada CEO, Brian D. Fulton, during his interview with The Truth About Cars.

Fulton supported his statement by saying that their US colleagues already confirmed the idea that only the sedan version of the A-Class will be sold in North America. Meanwhile, Canada will get both versions: the sedan and the hatchback. More details on the sedan will be released later this year.

Read the entire article 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan will come to the US, but don’t expect the hatchback variant

Genesis and Hyundai are finally working together to begin the establishment of a network of Genesis-exclusive dealerships in the United States.

It was just last Friday when a statement confirmed that existing Hyundai dealers in the United States were offered the opportunity to establish separate Genesis franchises. In other words, dealerships that already sell Genesis vehicles today will finally be able to apply for a Genesis franchise if they wish to do so. The automaker actually hopes to establish a network of around 100 retailers by the end of this year.

In the United States, there are around 350 Hyundai dealerships that carry Genesis models. And when the franchises begin to pop up, then this will help cement the idea of Genesis being a standalone brand, more than a sub brand of Hyundai. This also permits Genesis specific franchises only to perform warranty work. Initially, they will have a selection process for this, choosing from a limited number of dealers who are party to the Genesis Participation Agreemen. The next three years will be busy for the automaker, as they will be building dealerships during this period.

Read the entire article Genesis-exclusive dealerships will soon be set up in the US