DETROIT -- As General Motors expands its promotion of OnStar in GM cars, other automakers are dropping the service, which they say has appealed to very few customers.
And that's fine with GM, which no longer is promoting it aggressively to competing brands.
Audi and Subaru stopped selling the push-button communication system on new cars this model year. Volkswagen will stop offering it next model year. Volkswagen owns Audi.
Honda's Acura Division may drop it as well, says Dan Bonawitz, vice president for corporate planning and logistics at American Honda Motor Co.
"It is a subject that we are giving serious consideration," Bonawitz says. "Initially, OnStar was trying to attract many different customers and was promoting OnStar. Now their strategy has shifted to equipping almost every vehicle and promoting GM and OnStar very, very tightly."
Car executives say the close association that GM has built with OnStar, low customer acceptance and emerging technologies make OnStar less attractive to GM's competitors.
OnStar is a two-way wireless communication system between drivers and GM. OnStar reports it has about 3 million subscribers across GM and import brands.
The basic service is called "Safe and Sound." For $16.95 a month, or $199 a year, OnStar monitors vehicle locations and will send emergency vehicles when airbags deploy in an accident.
The "Luxury and Leisure" package cost $69.95 a month, or $799 a year, for services such as personal concierge, remote vehicle diagnostics, driving directions and roadside assistance.