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In-car connectivity, communications make next steps - Detroit Free Press
March 30, 2014
By Mark Phelan

...Hyundai and GM have decided they want ownership and control over the system that gives them so many contacts with their customers.

“They’re going to be among the leaders,” as companies use in-car communications systems to stay in touch with customers, Brinley said.

While many automakers outsource telematics, GM and Hyundai have decided it’s too important to trust to an outside company.

Hyundai outsourced the first generation of Blue Link, but it’s bringing the core capability in-house and hiring suppliers for specific tasks, much as it does when developing a car.

That’s similar to OnStar’s model. GM essentially invented the term “telematics” when it launched OnStar for accident notification, hands-free phone calls, navigation and a handful of other services in 1996.

OnStar has five North American call centers. With far fewer owners than GM, Hyundai will start with two, which will handle Blue Link interactions and regular customer service calls...

...OnStar expects “rocket ship” growth as its new 4G hardware allows it to offer more services, Chief Operating Officer Terry Inch said. “It’s GM’s commitment to connect as many vehicles as possible around the world.”

OnStar has about seven million users. The vast majority is in North America, but there are about 700,000 in China. Service begins in Europe next year. At times in the past, GM has sold OnStar to other automakers and as an aftermarket feature. The company has now decided to keep the service to itself...


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