Onstar Navigation System

December 21, 2011 by staff 

Onstar Navigation SystemOnstar Navigation System, A few months ago, an OnStar customer in Shanghai hit the button on his mirror and made a special request. Could the call center operator propose to his fiance for him?

Of course, the operator replied. And when the motorist’s girlfriend hit the button herself later that day, that is exactly what OnStar did. She said yes.

It was yet another milestone in what has been a banner year for OnStar in China. In addition to successfully resolving their first kidnapping, OnStar’s Chinese operators are now handling more than 1 million calls a month. That is a third of what their counterparts in the United States handle each month, but there are about 6 million subscribers in North America compared with just more than 400,000 in China. That means OnStar customers in China are hitting the button a lot more frequently than those in America.

“It’s definitely becoming a reason to buy (a General Motors Co. product) in China,” said Diane Jurgens, who will take over as president of Shanghai OnStar on Jan. 1, noting that Chinese customers consistently rate the firm’s telematics system as one of the five most important reasons for choosing a GM car or truck.

But Jurgens said marketing OnStar in China still poses challenges. While American consumers respond favorably to the company’s commercials that replay actual accident calls, Chinese consumers think the company is trying to jinx them by sending bad energy their way. So OnStar has focused on touting its other features in China, such as turn-by-turn navigation assistance.

That has turned out to be surprisingly popular in a country where roadmaps often are obsolete by the time they are printed.

GM launched Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd. as a joint venture with its Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., in 2009. It now controls 70 percent of the telematics market in China.

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