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Report: Sirius-XM Tech Merger Could Take Years

Chipset and automaker lead times are cited.

Sirius XM President/CEO Mel Karmazin told auto executives this week it could take as long as 15 years to merge the XM and Sirius technologies and install the result in the dash.

That’s because of the new chipsets required for interoperable receives as well as automakers’ lead time, according to a report in Automotive News.

Karmazin made the comments in a Q&A session at an auto conference following his first public appearance in Detroit since Sirius and XM combined.

At Convergence 2008, hosted by Chrysler, he said the company is offering new efficiencies that will distinguish each brand.

“Building on the success of our audio entertainment and technology infrastructure, we can bring the relationship to a strategic level by partnering with OEMs to position new-vehicle launches with differentiating Sirius XM features, such as Sirius Traffic with Chrysler, XM Traffic and real-time weather with Honda, Sirius Backseat TV with Chrysler and Sirius Travel Link with Ford,” the magazine quoted Karmazin as saying.

The company will not expand into Europe or Asia. If another company wants to use the Sirius XM delivery model for content and delivery, Karmazin said he hoped it would pay cash for that advice, according to the report.

Sirius XM made news last week when reports of layoffs of 50 to 80 people were published, including many at the XM operation in Washington.