XM Optimistic About Sales Despite Projected Car Buying Slump - Radio World

XM Optimistic About Sales Despite Projected Car Buying Slump

XM Satellite Radio expects car radio sales to remain solid even if the worst projections of slowing U.S. auto sales come true, according to Chairman Gary Parsons.
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XM Satellite Radio expects car radio sales to remain solid even if the worst projections of slowing U.S. auto sales come true, according to Chairman Gary Parsons.

The satcaster is relying heavily on new car buyers for customer growth. XM lost a net 17,000 retail customers in the third quarter.

Parsons told Reuters he expects retail subscribers to grow this quarter due to the holiday shopping season, then drop again in the first quarter.

At the recent Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit, three investors painted a grim picture for the auto sector in 2008, with one executive predicting a possible slump in U.S. sales to levels not seen in 15 years.

Parsons said by next year, 40 percent of new vehicles will carry satellite radios, up from 20 percent last year, according to Reuters. He expects that portion to rise to 50 percent in 2009, offsetting any drop in overall sales of new cars.

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