Zipcar drops XM, and the reason is silly

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 at 12:03 PM
Tags: 2, XM

Zipcar with XM
Zipcar and XM apparently are parting ways, according to a mailing sent out to customers recently. The car sharing service started offering XM in their vehicles just over two years ago, which makes the reason for the break-up even more suspect. UPDATE: See below for the real reason.

Zipcar is blaming... of all things... the proposed merger between Sirius and XM as the reason they're dropping the service.

Forget that the merger is far from certain, Zipcar still felt it necessary to "break ties with XM while things get sorted out in the satellite radio industry." As Ryan Block notes, this is a a huge loss for Zipcar customers.

Personally, I call Bravo Sierra on their reason. I suspect that Zipcar and XM just couldn't come to terms with the renewal agreement, and they're trying to blame it on merger uncertainty instead.

UPDATE: I was just contacted by an XM spokesperson to clarify the reason why Zipcar and XM have ended their relationship. It was in fact XM who decided to end the partnership with Zipcar. I don't the exact reason why they decided to end their partnership, but was assured the break-up was a completely amicable one and it was not because of the proposed merger.

(Zipcar's communications with customers tend to be fun, lighthearted and witty - so this likely was just one that went a little further than it was supposed to. That's my take.) 


Read the full letter to Zipcar customers after the jump... 

From: Zipcar
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007
To: xx
Subject: Zipcar and XM, breaking up is hard to do


Sometimes if you love something, you just have to set it free. So, even though we know that so many of you love XM's tuneage and ad-free format, we've made the difficult decision to break ties with XM while things get sorted out in the satellite radio industry (there's serious talk of XM and Sirius merging). But rest assured, we're checking out new ways to make your Ziptrips just as rockin' (or jazzin', or, well, you get the picture) as always.

As we say goodbye to our partner, we'll be removing the XM radios from all our Zipcars. This process will take a couple of months, and XM will continue to work in our cars in the meantime. If your car has it... turn it on and enjoy. To see if your Zipcar still has XM, check the vehicle details on our website when you make a reservation.

We don't want to leave you hanging without the music that you've come to know and love. You can still groove and sing out loud after the XM radios are gone from our Zipcars. Need it? Must have it? Love it too much? XM is giving Zipsters access to some solid deals through a unique set of friends and family discounts. If interested, find the deal that works for you and follow the simple instructions. Just go to and enter access code XMZIPXM05 to check 'em out.

PS. The XM radios that come out of our Zipcars can't be reused but will be recycled in an earth friendly manner.

Thanks for your understanding... happy Zipping.

Peter Demers
Director, Member Services

zipcar | wheels when you want them (TM)



If Bridgestone merges with Goodyear will they take off the tires and put wagon wheels on while they work it out?

Meh. BFD...

There's like 7 Zipcars on the road...

Why can't the radios be reused?

I have been following Zipcar for a while since I assume they will go public soon and I want to make some dough off of them. Since I am an expert on them I find it interesting that Matt Malloy (the person who commented) backtracked on thier own release. I am sure he was surprised that XM stood up for themselves since Zipcar seems to get to say anything they want.

I have been frustrated by XM radios not working in Zipcars I have used and when asked about it I have been told that it will be fixed once the subscription bill was paid.

I assume XM probably got tired of chasing the bills and figured it was better to cut ties.

Also it will be interesting to see if Zipcar lowers its rates since they are offering less services.

I assume that they can't be re-used since they were probably not owned by Zipcar but rather a marketing swap of some kind.

I think the line about the radios was just a clever way to say "Hey we are good for the environment"


Here is an interesting link where the zipcar people take back their original statement.

This is a bad PR for them


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