Didn't Buy Onstar After Six Free Months? GM Wants You Back

March 16, 2011

If you're like almost half of GM new-car buyers, you didn't choose to pay the monthly fee to continue Onstar services once the first six months, which are free, elapsed.

Don't worry, though: General Motors still loves you.

In fact, GM is planning an aggressive campaign to woo people like you back into the fold, by offering you ... a free year of Onstar service.

Late this month, the company will launch commercials telling non-subscribing owners that they should push the blue Onstar button to sign up for not only a year's worth of free service but also entry into a giveaway for a new car.

GM's OnStar system

GM's OnStar system

Enlarge Photo

GM says that roughly 57 percent of its new-car buyers subscribe to Onstar, at an average cost of $20 a month. Services include concierge service, driving directions downloaded to a car's audio system, and the ability to make calls via the vehicle's built-in mobile phone.

As long as Whether or not the owner subscribes, all Onstar-equipped GM vehicles notify a central dispatcher if the car's airbags are triggered--as shown in memorable television ads.

The system also allows police to work with Onstar operators to remotely power down stolen GM vehicles when they're in a safe location.

OnStar reduced power

OnStar reduced power

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GM is working hard to retain the lead Onstar gave it in automotive telecommunications and telematics services.

Among other atypical moves, it will sell Onstar units at retail stores for $299 and offer the system to other carmakers for their vehicles.

[Bloomberg BusinessWeek]

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