LAS VEGAS (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co. will begin selling its OnStar communications service for use in non-GM vehicles and autos already on the road to add to its more than 6 million subscribers.
OnStar, a subscription service that provides accident alerts, stolen-vehicle tracking and navigation, will sell for $299 plus installation through retailers including Best Buy Co., said Tuesday here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
GM has added features to OnStar and plans to expand the service overseas under the direction of CEO Dan Akerson, a former telecommunications CEO. The features include technology that translates voice to mobile-phone text messages to compete with Ford Motor Co.’s Sync entertainment and navigation system.
“OnStar has always had this opportunity, and with some of these new applications, it now has a good value proposition,” Phil Magney, an analyst for IHS-iSuppli Corp., an electronics-industry research firm. “It’s incremental business for them.”
OnStar’s partners, including Best Buy, the world’s largest consumer-electronics retailer, will install the system through a replacement rearview mirror connected to the car’s battery, Micky Bly, GM’s executive director of vehicle engineering, said in an interview.
The aftermarket OnStar product will include stolen-vehicle tracking, collision notification, call-center support, hands- free calling and navigation, OnStar said in a statement.
GM offers OnStar free in more than 30 of its models for the first six to 12 months, then charges $199 to $299 a year, depending on the features. Ford’s Sync, developed with Microsoft Corp., is available as a $395 option on some models and is standard in higher-end vehicles.
OnStar said installation of its aftermarket product is expected to cost $75 to $100.