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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Avis to add satellite radios in '03 rentals

By Judy Fettner
Bloomberg News Service

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Avis Rent A Car System Inc., the world's second-largest car-rental company, will offer radios from XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. in its cars nationwide beginning in 2003.

Avis is adding as many as 50,000 satellite radio-equipped vehicles from General Motors Corp. to its fleet, Avis said in a statement. The company, with more than 1,700 rental locations worldwide, is a unit of Cendant Corp. Ford Motor Co.'s Hertz is the world's largest rental-car company.

Customers of Parsippany, New Jersey-based Avis will be charged an extra $2.99 a day for access to 100 channels of news, sports, talk and music stations, including Cable News Network, financial news network CNBC and ESPN. Many of the stations are commercial-free.

XM's rival, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., has installed 20,000 of its satellite-radio systems in some Hertz cars, minivans and sport utility vehicles rented at airports in California and Florida.

Shares of New York-based Cendant fell 36 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $11.94 as of 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Washington-based XM shares rose 43 cents, or 14 percent, to $3.48 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.