XM Satellite Radio, claimed to be the leader of America’s two satellite radio services (the rival is Sirius), ended the third quarter with 201,500 total subscribers, hitting the company’s projections despite an unusually soft consumer electronics market in the third quarter.

This quarter XM also began factory installation in 25 General Motors 2003 models and unveiled its second-generation radio, the Delphi XM SKYFi.
A spokesman said the company expected to achieve its year-end guidance of 350,000 subscribers.

General Motors expects to enable 350,000 to 400,000 XM subscribers for the 2003 model year and president GM-North America Gary Cowger said recently: “XM is about to move into the automotive mainstream in a very big way.”

XM is also now available from other automakers with Honda a recent recruit.

The new portable SKYFi radio is claimed to work virtually anywhere a subscriber wants to use it and is offered with vehicle and home adaptor kits. Delphi said it will produce between 120,000 and 150,000 units by year’s end.

XM’s programming lineup, which requires a monthly subscription, features 101 digital channels.