Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 CES: OnStar Coming as Aftermarket Product for Non-GM Vehicles


If you're fond of GM's OnStar in-car wireless communication system but don't plan on owning a vehicle from the Detroit automaker, we have some good news for you. At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, General Motors announced that it will begin selling the safety, security and connectivity service for non-GM and older GM vehicles already on the road.

The service will be available through an aftermarket rear view mirror replacement featuring the OnStar button as well as other controls, which is said to be compatible with most top-selling vehicles from major manufacturers.

According to the company, the OnStar retail product will offer the same key features found on GM's vehicles including Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, one-button access to emergency and roadside services, and hands-free calling, including Bluetooth connectivity.

The mirror will be available in the United States initially through Best Buy this spring, with more retailers to follow soon. Pricing for the mirror is set at $299, plus installation which is expected to cost between $75 and $100, while the OnStar subscription service will start at $18.95 a month or $199 for a full year.

“For years, thousands of drivers have asked us to get OnStar in vehicles that didn’t feature it as standard,” said Chris Preuss, OnStar president.

“With the retail product that we’ve introduced today they certainly can. This move in to the consumer electronics space represents the biggest development in our business model since introducing OnStar as standard across all GM products several years ago. It represents a quantum leap forward in our plans to grow our business and provide a strong new revenue base for GM and OnStar from which we can further develop our core offerings in the factory-equipped market.”


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