Buyers of General Motors’ 2014 models will receive a free remote-start service through a wireless OnStar application called RemoteLink. This means that OnStar subscribers could now start or unlock their vehicles from almost anywhere using just the app installed in their smartphones or tablets.
According to GM, buyers of 2014 models, including those who do not pay for an OnStar subscription, could avail of the service for free for five years. Buyers, however, must make sure that they are buying a GM vehicle factory-equipped with remote-start capability, which is typically found only on higher trim levels.
According to Phil Abram, GM's chief infotainment officer, the move will allow the carmaker to sell more units by opening up a feature that their customers have said is highly valuable.
Abram disclosed that a survey of RemoteLink users showed that around 72 percent are more likely to purchase another GM car because of the feature. GM has dubbed the free service as RemoteLink Key Fob Services, since it enables owners to use their smartphones or tablets in lieu to perform functions of the key fob, like locking doors or activating horns and lights.
Currently, there are around 320,000 active users of RemoteLink that GM introduced in 2010. GM has more than 6 million OnStar subscribers. However, other RemoteLink services, like tire-pressure monitoring and the ability to send turn-by-turn directions, will still be available only to OnStar subscribers.
“We know our customers value remote services,” said Mary Chan, president GM Global Connected Consumer. “GM owners request remote door unlock assistance through OnStar more than 60,000 times each month, so it makes sense for us to offer RemoteLink Key Fob Services to enable customers to lock, unlock or start their vehicle from anywhere they have a wireless or cellular connection.” “Our vehicles are getting more connected, and so are we. As mobile devices become a bigger part of our lives, GM understands the importance of providing our customers the ability to use these devices as part of their vehicle experience,” said Chan. [source: GM]