Ford Motor Co. will offer high-definition digital radio as optional equipment on nearly all ’08 model Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles, the auto maker says.

The HD radio system also will be offered as an aftermarket component that can be installed on ’05-’07 Ford vehicles. The HD radios will be supplied by Peripheral Electronics.

HD radio dramatically increases the sound quality of broadcasts and enables more than one broadcast per channel, a format called HD2, Ford says. Currently, more than 1,500 radio stations in the U.S. broadcast in HD digital sound, and more than 600 also air HD2 multicasts.

Peripheral Electronics will produce the system, a spokesman says.

To promote the dealer-installed option, Ford plans a multi-million-dollar, 13-week, on-air radio marketing campaign beginning today. The commercials will run in 100 markets on some 700 radio stations, Ford says.

Pricing for the HD radio system will vary by dealer, Ford says. No monthly subscription fee is required.