General Motors (News
), Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC) and OnStar on Thursday announced the establishment of a telematics joint venture called Shanghai OnStar Telematics Company Limited, which will provide in-vehicle safety, security and communication services similar to those currently available in the United States and Canada, including advanced automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote door unlock, hands- free calling, vehicle diagnostics and turn-by-turn navigation.
This is OnStar's first venture outside of North America in its 11-year history. OnStar, a subsidiary of General Motors, and Shanghai Automotive Industry Sales Co. Ltd.
The Shanghai-based OnStar Telematics expects to begin rolling out its services in 2009, initially for vehicles manufactured and distributed in China by Shanghai GM.
"Over the past decade, GM and SAIC have established eight joint ventures that are engaged in vehicle and powertrain manufacturing, sales and service, automotive engineering and design, automotive financing, and now telematics," said GM China Group President and Managing Director Kevin Wale. "The launch of our new joint venture represents a significant technological step forward in our partnership."
"Like our other joint ventures, Shanghai OnStar Telematics will contribute to the ongoing development of China's automotive industry," said SAIC Vice Chairman Chen Hong.
In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.
OnStar provides services to more than 5 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.
Anil Sharma is a TMCnet Contributing Editor