OnStar has responded to the public clamor to make its safety, security and connectivity services accessible to non-GM and older GM vehicles. Starting this spring, OnStar’s core technology will be available through consumer electronics retailers.
OnStar has made this standalone rearview mirror, which bears all the features, to be compatible with most top-selling vehicles from major manufacturers.
The OnStar retail product offers 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.
In the U.S., this mirror will be available through Best Buy, its first strategic retail partner. The product will be offered as well through other selected consumer electronics retailers.
Consumers have to pay $299 for the mirror plus installation (which costs from $75 to $100). Consumers may opt from a range of service plans, which costs from $18.95 a month or $199 a year.
According to OnStar president Chris Preuss, thousands of drivers over the years have long requested to have OnStar in vehicles where it did not come as standard. With the latest retail product that the company has just introduced, it is now possible for customers to do so.
It was some years back when OnStar became standard in all the products offered by GM and this recent shift to consumer electronic space, Preuss continued, can be considered as the biggest development in the company’s business model yet. It displays a strong leap forward as it relates to the company’s plan to grow its business in order to give GM a stronger revenue base, he added.
This move also hopes that it will give OnStar the opportunity to develop even further its core offerings when it comes to the factory-equipped market. Lisa Farrell shared that the company is more than proud to be the first strategic retail partner of OnStar for this particular product. Ms. Farrell is the current senior vice president and general manager of portable electronics customer solutions group at Best Buy.
Ms. Farrell continued that this is a good way for Best Buy to make sure that their customers continue to be connected wherever and whenever. Best Buy wants to give consumers a one-stop solution. Aside from being able to buy this product at Best Buy, Ms. Farrell added, the company will also be offering to install it through its Geek Squad Auto Techs at the same location. All of the services will also be made available using the OnStar mirror.
This means that the driver can get the services without ever having to use a mobile phone or own one. Let us suppose for example that an accident occurs and the phone is either damaged or the driver is not able to use one. This feature makes sure that the emergency services are still alerted. The first-ever OnStar product was manufactured back in 1996. It had 38 different components and needed at least four days in order to be installed.
The current OnStar being sold is the ninth-generation of this technology. This same product can now fit in the rearview mirror, weighs around 23 ounces, and can be installed by a professional in barely an hour. All that needs to be done is to take off the rearview mirror and then replace it with this OnStar product that runs on an electric power source on its new mirror.