OnStar got a boost in January when parent company General Motors announced that it would make OnStar service standard on all models by 2007.
As a result, OnStar is betting that its subscriber base will grow from 3 million to 10 million.
Could something similar be in the works for vehicles with XM Satellite Radio, which is marketed by OnStar? Perhaps, hints Rick Lee, vice president of satellite radio services for OnStar. Lee spoke with Staff Reporter Greg Bowens.
Is the move to make OnStar standard on all GM vehicles a prelude for the same happening with XM Satellite Radio?
It is certainly something that is being considered.
What would it take to get there?
Our ability to make a decision like this isn't really all that far away. It really is dependent on a lot of other external factors like the health of the GM business. The first step was making OnStar standard. So the foundation has been set.
What's the next big thing for OnStar?
There is a lot we can do to drive usage and add value so that after a year of free service you get with the purchase of a new car, people won't want to give it up.
This could include providing information about road conditions and/or traffic information that could make it easier for a driver to get from one place to another.
We could also provide service to help people with their cars.
If you think about the life cycle of ownership and things that happen during that life cycle, such as maintenance, there is a lot we can do.
Providing drivers with traffic information is what your satellite partner XM does with its real-time traffic service on Cadillac models. Is OnStar competing with XM to provide the same service?
To get traffic information into the vehicle today you have to use a $2,000 autonomous navigation system. If you already have OnStar onboard, maybe traffic gets delivered a different way for a whole lot less.
That sounds like competition.
I would call that collaboration.
You may e-mail Greg Bowens at