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GM Attempts to Keep Up with Ford's Technology

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On: Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 4:39PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

GM Attempts to Keep Up with Ford's Technology

It seems as though General Motors may be following Ford Motor Co.’s philosophy that in order to get something, you have to give away something. In this case it's the free service that Ford offers its customer for the “Ford Sync” product. GM is planning to offer some free music and information in its OnStar communications system in order to keep up with its number one competitor.

Currently OnStar is a free service for the first year and then a yearly membership of between $199 to $299 is due. Marketing gurus at GM thought they had an ingenious plan for setting up a system to raise revenues for the company in the form of residual income, but unfortunately Ford Motor Company one upped GM offering Ford customers a FREE subscription to its information service, Ford Sync.

Although OnStar offered the first service providing accident alert communication, directions, and vehicle diagnostics, the OnStar was set up to be a paid subscription service. This month GM will introduce a new system that is free, offering technology that provides links to the social media site, Facebook, as the system translates voice messages into text. This is a brand new system that has not yet gone public, according to anonymous sources.

The new edition of OnStar will have improved services for emergency response in orer to communicate with a 24/7 OnStar operator in an emergency situation. OnStar’s new logo will be “Live On” while the emergency service will also be given its own advertisement theme, “Always On.”

OnStar will also partner with Google in order to provide live turn-by-turn directions through its new “eNav” program, but Google has announced that GM will not be getting exclusive rights to the navigation system.

According to Brandy Schaffels, an anylyst at TrueCar.com, “In-car technology features attract tech-savvy consumers and allow carmakers to charge more for smaller, cheaper models, GM, the largest U.S. automaker, is adding features to keep pace with systems including Ford's Sync.”

“When Ford came out with Sync, the company offered OnStar's services and upped the ante,” said the content manager at a California research center. “Technological features are where GM and Ford are going to define their reputation with the next generation.”

Another innovative feature that OnStar may be adding is an entertainment and information service that links to user’s smartphone without users having to pay a subscription fee. Unfortunately for GM, Ford’s new technology is already working on some innovative new technology for smartphone as well, so as in most arenas, Ford is ahead of the race again.

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