• Jul 15th 2007 at 7:50AM
  • 19

The latest engine of growth in GM's efforts to reclaim its lost crown: OnStar. The 12th floor of the Renaissance Center is the OnStar Command Center where minions gather, mission-control style, to make sure that all is running smoothly for the 4.8 million subscribers to the OnStar empire. Eleven years into its life, OnStar's services now include keeping track of traffic jams, news, missing persons alerts, weather emergencies, giving turn-by-turn directions, and providing monthly diagnostic reports. On a busy day, the center gets 100,000 calls.

GM wants people to start buying its cars specifically because they come with the service. By the end of this year, 95-percent of GM cars sold in the US and Canada will have OnStar standard. The first year of service is free, and the hope is that by the end of 12 months the customer will find it indispensable. In case that isn't enough, in addition to the word-of-mouth advertising by 80 million people who have already been assisted by OnStar, GM is providing dealers with more training and increase its marketing of the service, noted primarily by moving Tiger Woods from the Buick campaign to OnStar.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I bought an '05 Corvette with On-Star and it will be OBSOLETE next year! What a freakin' waste of money that was......

      • 8 Years Ago
      is it like a cell phone where there are dead areas in the country or does it work everywhere which would be a advantage over cell phones ?
        • 8 Years Ago
        In my area it dosen't work very well and neither does satellite radio. I need two cel phones from diferent providers because both have dead spots as well. The local tow company has a contract with OnStar but the customer has to reach them by regular means.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Federal Government came out a few years ago and said everything will be going digital because analog requires too much energy and too many towers to move the signal. I believe it's 2012 is the date when EVERYTHING is digital. Hence car radios... now digital... tv channels... now going digital... cellular technologies... going digital.

      Stop your bickering about change. It's going to happen like it or not... if you want to stay analog... then go to a 3rd world country that doesn't have the funds for change.

      If you're going to complain about the general... then mention... too much cheap plastics... lack of design... lack of technology... lack of satellite radio options... lack bluetooth... lack of "luxury" options in smaller vehicles... and finally... not knowing what the average person wants in a vehicle.

      Toyota - Honda - Acura - Hyundai - Lexus - V Dub are killing GM at option packages and at knowing the public and giving them want they want. Not everyone needs a SUV or an over-sized P/U because they need to "look" tough or "look" empowered. A car is a "worst investment" any person will make, not a status symbol.

      It's your own ignorance that you should be complaining about.
        • 8 Years Ago
        wow, your post is incredibly disjointed...first you rant about lack of options on GM vehicles, then you turn around and say that cars are bad investments, and not status symbols, and then you rail about other peoples' ignorance...

        so which is it -- should cars be cheap to offset the bad investment, be loaded with options which obviously raises the price of them, or be loaded with expensive technology options that raise the 'status' of the car, but not much else??

        i'm pretty sure that GM and every other manufacturer makes cars that fit every single one of the categories above, and if you don't like the way they are priced, then stop being ignorant and go to a manufacturer who values the options the same as you.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As long as it can be removed, I don't care. I like GM. I don't want OnStar or anything else in my car that's capable of tracking my location.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Congrats PakieMak you win the most ignorant post award! Have you ever read a car mag, been to a dealership??? Do you you even know what GM offers? You say GM doesn't know what the average person wants, I am not sure you even know what you want. Stop the GM bashing, its an invalid arguement especially of late. You mention digital and slam analog, maybe its time you abandon your analog way of thinking when it comes to GM. Step into the digital age, it is afterall 2007 and not 1985.
      • 8 Years Ago
      OK...I'm fully aware of the "technology marches on" setiment, but, let's face it, GM could fix/replace/subsidize the unit for the lost analog crowd. So, will I buy another GM product? Maybe, but for damned sure I'm going to scrape their balls when it comes time to deal.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Technology changes so fast. That's why GM needs to design a standard modular center section to ALL their dashboards. Then allow suppliers to design their wares into that footprint. That would draw the younger generation to new & used GM cars.
      Part of Apple's success is that it recognized it needed to look outside rather than do it all in-house.
      • 8 Years Ago
      OnStar was very high quality when it was the only system on the market, or at least the only system that was the only cost effective system. Now with the introduction of the completely self contained units a.k.a. Garmin, I think GM should see the writing on the wall. OnStar could be paired down to the original EMERGENCY Services.
      • 8 Years Ago
      OnStar has one major flaw--no bluetooth. And, the workaround is retarded. They want you to get a second phone line and forward your cell phone number to that line everytime you get into the car.

      With everything down to the Nissan Versa equipped with Bluetooth, once again GM is more interested in pushing it's "invested" techonologies down consumer throats rather than providing them with what they are asking for.

      I wonder how many people have passed on a GM vehicle simply because Bluetooth is not available (because of OnStar).
        • 8 Years Ago
        I have a cadillac sts, which has Onstar and bluetooth, both from the factory.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I got a flyer in the mail to upgrade for $15,I like Onstar,I also like having it in my daughters car,its a little peace of mind, which we can all use.I also like talking to the sexy sounding concierge girl, I bet she looks like Heather Locklear.
        • 8 Years Ago
        "...sexy sounding concierge girl,..." I always received one that sounded like Betty the Bruiser. Peace of mind? There are limitations to the system as any forum dealing with your model of vehicle should have already explored (e.g. damaging destroying the external antenna, whether intentional or not). I reside were a million drivers' are on their mobile phone the minute there is an accident or a stranded motorist. I also did a test with a friend where we called, and OnStar went through all their polite greetings, and that "niceness" as though they are at your beckon service, and thereafter I told them that I was not the person they greeted, and acquired the vehicle as its new owner—try it and see what happens. Too funny, but not if you are actually in an emergency situation.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Don: When OnStar was first introduced, as with Mercedes TeleAid, the only available technology was analog, so that was the technology used. When digital technology started, it switched to digital. How can you blame GM or Mercedes for using the only technology available at the time? The alternative was to not offer the service at all because someone thought that the technology would change and the old technology would (by law) be rendered obsolete. If you want to blame anyone, blame the federal government and the cell phone companies for getting rid of analog cell phone service at this time. But at some point, it is no longer viable to maintain the analog network, especially when the analog service bands of the spectrum can be re-used for more important services.
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