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Flybrian

No Aftermarket OnStar System in Works

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OnStar Stays Factory-Installed Only
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Date posted: 10-11-2007 | Link to Original Article @ Edmunds


WASHINGTON, D.C. — After contemplating offering aftermarket OnStar receivers to owners of cars that didn't come with the service built in, the company has decided to limit its product to original-equipment-use only, said OnStar President Chet Huber.

With a flattening membership growth curve, the notion of pursuing customers whose cars didn't come with OnStar certainly looks attractive, but the idea of marketing a version of OnStar for such customers just doesn't make sense to the company, Huber explained.

"We can't be confident that it can really be OnStar as an aftermarket item," he said. The company has considered this possibility on several different occasions and recently again reached the same conclusion that the service must be built in to cars. An add-on system might not have the ability to survive a crash in working condition, which would be a worst-case scenario for a service that promises to send help after a crash.

We talked to Huber while he was unveiling yet another new technical capability, the ability to remotely slow down stolen OnStar cars, and it is features like this that require thorough integration into the car's electronics systems. While plugging into the On Board Diagnostic II port would provide an OnStar receiver access to some of the car's vital signs, such add-on systems would not be able to offer all of OnStar's increasing array of integrated services, said Huber.

However, because the cars with built-in OnStar are becoming increasingly affordable (Chevrolet will roll it out across its 2008 product line) 3 or 4 million new cars will take to the road each year that can use OnStar, Huber said.
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As more and more people get the point of Onstar, GM might find people picking GM cars because of it. Why give the others the advantage.

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