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GM ACCESSORIES: NEW ELECTRICAL CREATURE COMFORTS

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GM ACCESSORIES INTRODUCES NEW ELECTRICAL CREATURE COMFORTS AT SEMA THAT ENHANCE CUSTOMER ENTERTAINMENT, CONVENIENCE

LAS VEGAS – GM Accessories will show off four new products at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show that will greatly improve the quality of in-vehicle entertainment, as well as provide a new level of convenience to owners of GM vehicles.

An all-new dockable, portable rear-seat DVD system featuring an industry-leading, 10-inch screen will be demonstrated, as well as an all-new remote start system with enhanced range and a small key fob screen that allows drivers to monitor the system’s status and other important information such as tire pressure and fuel level.

GM Accessories also will show off new headphones that improve sound quality by blocking out ambient noise, as well as Personal Audio Link, an iPod integration accessory that allows drivers to safely, conveniently and seamlessly plug their iPods into their vehicle’s existing sound system.

“Because our customers and their families are spending more time than ever in their vehicles, we want to provide them with electronics that will make that time more enjoyable, as well as make GM vehicles ‘smarter’ and easier to use,” said Nancy Philippart, executive director, GM Accessories. “Our electrical accessories team has developed some great products that I’m confident will be in high demand at our dealerships.”

Here’s a look at the electrical products by GM Accessories that will be introduced at SEMA:

Portable overhead DVD system with 10-inch screen

Rear-seat passengers might mistakenly think they’re at the theater when they watch a movie on GM Accessories’ new rear-seat DVD entertainment system, which features an industry-leading 10-inch screen. This portable, dockable system travels from vehicle to home, plane or hotel room with a simple, snap-in function. The system also can move from vehicle to vehicle if a duplicate docking system is purchased.

Innovative sensor technology automatically inverts the image on the screen according to how it’s being used – whether docked in the headliner of the vehicle or being watched on a desktop. If left in the vehicle, owners can feel confident that the player will be secure, because of a unique electronic interlock that prevents the DVD player from being removed when power is not provided to the system (when ignition key is removed and any door is open, or when the Retained Accessory Power has ended). The system also comes with two dual-channel wireless headphones and remote control.

The system will be first made available in the first quarter of 2007 on GM’s full-size sport utility vehicles as well as the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia crossover SUVs. Pricing will be released later this year.

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2-Way Advanced Remote Start System

GM Accessories takes the vehicle remote start system to the next level with its 2-Way Advanced Remote Start System, which boosts both range and functionality compared to other remote start systems.

GM is the first automaker to offer an LCD two-way remote start accessory. GM Accessories’ new 2-Way Advanced Remote Start System actually communicates important information about certain vehicle systems via a small LCD screen on the key fob. Users can see if the doors are locked or unlocked; determine whether the engine is running and see how much time is left before the vehicle will automatically shut off; check security status; find out current odometer mileage; see remaining fuel; check tire pressures in all four tires; and change radio station pre-sets.

Typical remote start systems work at distances of between two to three times the range of a factory-installed remote keyless entry system. GM’s 2-Way Advanced Remote Start System is designed to function at ranges of up to four to six times the typical keyless entry system, enabling users to start their vehicles from much greater distances.

The system will be available in the second quarter of 2007 on certain GM vehicles. Pricing for the system will range from under $150 MSRP up to $250 MSRP, depending on the vehicle’s factory options, plus dealer installation.

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Noise-canceling headphones

GM is the first automaker to introduce noise-canceling headphones for use with either GM factory or dealer-installed rear-seat entertainment systems. Jointly developed with KOSS, a leading headphone manufacturer, these high-quality headphones carry the KOSS Lifetime Limited Warranty. The headphones, available at GM dealers for $49.95 MSRP, improve sound quality and therefore enable passengers to listen to programming at a lower volume than traditional headphones.

Noise-canceling headphones work by reducing unwanted ambient sounds (i.e., acoustic noise) by means of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). This involves using a microphone, placed near the ear, and electronic circuitry that generates an "antinoise" sound wave with the opposite polarity of the sound wave arriving at the microphone. This results in destructive interference, which cancels out the noise within the enclosed volume of the headphone.

In a motor vehicle, ambient noise might include an engine hum, wind noise or other consistent road noise associated with tires making contact with the road. Passengers using noise-canceling headphones can still hear conversation in the vehicle.

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GM Personal Audio Link

Because GM believes great cars and great tunes should travel together, GM Accessories has developed an affordable, all-new iPod adaptor that allows music lovers to use their iPod with the factory-installed audio system in GM vehicles. The system, called Personal Audio Link, goes on sale this month for the Chevrolet HHR.

Priced at $159 MSRP, plus dealer installation, Personal Audio Link was designed specifically for the iPod. GM expects to make the device available on all of its 56 vehicle models – most by the end of 2007 – meaning GM will offer the widest range of vehicle applications for iPod integration in the industry.

The Personal Audio Link iPod adapter, about the size of a deck of cards and not visible to the customer once installed, uses existing radio software, and is integrated through the radio’s digital XM Satellite Radio band. This provides improved sound over FM modulated systems, and better control and display over FM modulated and CD changer interface units.

The system displays song artist, title and genre on the radio display, and allows song selection by genre, playlist, artist and album. In addition, Podcasts and audio books are no problem. Personal Audio Link enables the user to store, sort and select their favorite Podcast or audio book by title. In vehicles equipped with steering wheel audio controls, those controls will also control volume.

Once the device is installed, the customer plugs the iPod into an interface cable in the glove box, where the player can be safely secured and stowed. The device also charges the iPod while the vehicle is operating.

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All very neat, but I give the following awards:

First, the "finally competing with the aftermarket" award goes to the remote start system. Hooray for something slick enough for the most gadgety of customers.

Second, the "most likely to sell a lot" award goes to the iPod adapter.

The other two are neat as well, but these 2 stood out.

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The DVD system seems pretty innovative - it depends on how much more the player and docking system cost than a typical in-vehicle DVD system. I'd love to have a removable DVD player that could be portable enough to be used on planes or even transferred to a new vehicle. Families could share one DVD player for multiple vehicles, putting the player in whichever vehicle they are taking on trips. I hate to say it, but even rental car companies could use something like this. They could get the docking system installed in multiple vehicles, and then charge a premium to get the DVD player. That way, if people want one, they can get one. If not, they don't have to pay for the extra functionality.

I'm not sure I see the need for the new remote start system. Does anyone really need to see their current odometer mileage or tire pressure, or change a radio preset from 100 yards away? Same thing with current lock status. If you want the doors locked, press the lock button. It doesn't matter if they are already locked or not.

Hopefully the personal audio link system will sell well. However, I see the price potentially turning some people away, especially since the corporate standard radio already has the basic input jack. Is it really worth half the cost of a new iPod to see all the song information on the display? It's not like CDs or most radio stations display that information. It also depends on how much the "dealer installation" will cost.

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2-Way Advanced Remote Start System

GM Accessories takes the vehicle remote start system to the next level with its 2-Way Advanced Remote Start System, which boosts both range and functionality compared to other remote start systems.

GM is the first automaker to offer an LCD two-way remote start accessory. GM Accessories’ new 2-Way Advanced Remote Start System actually communicates important information about certain vehicle systems via a small LCD screen on the key fob. Users can see if the doors are locked or unlocked; determine whether the engine is running and see how much time is left before the vehicle will automatically shut off; check security status; find out current odometer mileage; see remaining fuel; check tire pressures in all four tires; and change radio station pre-sets.

Typical remote start systems work at distances of between two to three times the range of a factory-installed remote keyless entry system. GM’s 2-Way Advanced Remote Start System is designed to function at ranges of up to four to six times the typical keyless entry system, enabling users to start their vehicles from much greater distances.

The system will be available in the second quarter of 2007 on certain GM vehicles. Pricing for the system will range from under $150 MSRP up to $250 MSRP, depending on the vehicle’s factory options, plus dealer installation.

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Any idea if these could work with older vehicles or just available for newer ones?

I'm looking into getting a remote start for my Alero (wish I could get one before winter..) and depending on the price I'd definitely would want to go for this.. not so much the key fob (which still is awesome), but more for the range. On my Achieva, I had an after market combo system (alarm, keyless entry, & remote start) installed by a local audio/security shop and I was able to start the car right outside one building on my college campus and my car being parked a good few hundred feet away from it. The key fob on my Alero I basically have to be less than 40ft for it to take effect (granted this is just keyless entry on that one).

Edit: just noticed one thing I use a lot.. where's the trunk pop button?

Edited by Decka

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Personal Audio Link:

Q1

Cadillac Escalade (all models), Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Tahoe,Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Avalanche, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon

$159 MSRP, plus dealer installation

By end of June 2007

Buick Enclave, Cadillac XLR, Chevrolet Corvette, GMC Acadia, HUMMER H2, HUMMER H3, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Aura, Saturn Sky, Saturn Outlook.

$159 MSRP, plus dealer installation

Portable Overhead DVD

By April 1, 2007

Buick Enclave, Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Acadia, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, HUMMER H2, Saturn Outlook

Pricing TBD

2-Way Advanced Remote Start

MY 2007

Buick Enclave, Buick Lucerne, Cadillac DTS, Chevrolet Cobalt, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet HHR, Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Malibu (08 MY), Chevrolet Monte Carlo, GMC Acadia, Pontiac G6, Pontiac Torrent, Saturn Aura, Saturn Outlook

$150 to $250 MSRP, plus dealer installation

Noise -canceling Headphones

Currently available

All GM models equipped with factory-installed or GM Accessories Rear Seat Entertainment System

$49.95 MSRP

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