We recently conducted a survey of 30 auto dealerships around the U.S. and asked questions about the best selling car models, the impact of high gas prices on truck and SUV sales and deals for Satellite Radio. The responses to the final question were the most interesting. There was no consensus about best selling car but gas prices were reported by 67% of respondents to being a factor in slowing sales of trucks and SUV’s.
We called six Toyota dealers which makes Toyota the most heavily represented brand in our survey at 20%. Four claimed there are good deals for satellite radio in a new car while two said their were not. Out of our four positive respondents all mentioned XM. One rep told us that a Toyota Corolla comes with six months free service to XM while another Toyota rep told us that free XM was on select models, including the Camry.
At Keller Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan we were told that any new car or truck purchased came with a free installation of XM Satellite. Another Ford dealer stated that most new models and even many used models had satellite radio options now. A Saturn Ion comes with a free year of OnStar and XM Satellite Radio and a Pontiac G6 comes with a free year of Sirius service according to our dealer checks. Finally, a Jeep Unlimited 4-door being sold by an Ohio dealer came with a free two month subscription to Sirius Satellite service.
15 out of our 30 dealerships reported special offers of free installation or service for some form of satellite radio. It seems to us that the satellite radio option could be on the way to becoming a standard feature. It may be the limited nature of our survey or the weighting towards Toyota, but when a specific service was mentioned for satellite radio, XM was mentioned in 75% of the cases. Some multi-branded dealers mentioned both services but generally we got feedback on good deals involving XM more often than Sirius.