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OnStar For Everyone?

A smart GM mirror for your Toyota?

by on Jan.05, 2011

OnStar President Chris Preuss shows a new "smart" rearview mirror that can be installed in non-GM vehicles -- and will be sold through Best Buy.

By the end of this month, about 69,000 General Motors customers will use OnStar to get into their locked cars, 10,000 will use the service to call for police or an ambulance, and as many as 3 million will use OnStar to map out a route.

Yet despite the fact that the GM subsidiary is “a major profit center,” according to a senior OnStar official, it has never really lived up to its potential – until now, anyway.  That’s something the company hopes to start changing with the launch of an assortment of new products and services that are being unveiled, this week, at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.

While OnStar makes plenty of money, and already has six million subscribers, “We need more growth,” acknowledges the subsidiary’s President Chris Preuss, who says he sees “substantial opportunities” to pitch OnStar services to those who aren’t buying a new General Motors car, truck or crossover.

During a CES preview, Preuss unveiled a new OnStar rearview mirror that offers Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, one-button access to emergency and roadside services, and Bluetooth hands-free calling.  To show the versatility of the new system, it was previewed on a Toyota Camry.