OnStar Goes To China

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Forbes reports that GM's joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) is spawning yet another joint venture: Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. The partners plan to offer the same range of services for OnStar's international debut that are available to North American customers. Although the Chinese government exercises iron-fisted control over technology and communications, OnStar president Chet Huber is optimistic they won't have any problems. Probably not, especially once the government finds out the OnStar can track citizens' movements and eavesdrop on their conversations. Anyway, Kevin Wale, president of GM China Group has equally high hopes: "We expect OnStar to have a similar impact in China as in the U.S." Thank goodness for that — thousands of Chinese can sleep safe in the knowledge that one day soon they'll never have to worry about locking their keys in their cars again.

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  • N Number N Number on Nov 29, 2007

    I wonder if the OnStar operators will know any more about driving than the drivers do. Maybe they could lend a hand via an unexpected voice in the cabin.

  • BerettaGTZ BerettaGTZ on Nov 29, 2007

    Well, given that "emergency services" are extremely unreliable in China (as expats living there, we were told to take a taxi to the nearest hospital rather than wait for an ambulance should the need arise), I'm not sure what the big attraction of Onstar will be. Maybe it's the hands free personal calling?

  • Joemoc1 Joemoc1 on Nov 29, 2007

    What better test base for the Pay as you drive lease program that OnStar is set up to be.

  • Beken Beken on Nov 29, 2007

    I wonder if, eventually, Onstar operators will be outsourced to China.