GM forces you to buy options (now standard equipment) that I and others don't want.
GM doesn't force anyone to do or buy anything. They build the best cars they can, the way they think they should and hope that they find market acceptance.
If anything the market has forced GM to go this route, making OnStar standard.
GM had a product differentiator. A system that would show their technical expertice. One that no other manufacturer offers (although several are working on their own systems to debut in the next few years). A product with a measurable increase in customer satisfaction with the whole car and ownership experience, that ranked high in repurchase intent, and has high ratings in word of mouth recommendation.
If the market refussed to look at GM products, then GM would give them more to look at.
They declared that in the interests of owner safety that they would make OnStar and StabiliTrak standard equipment. They increased the warranty package to be better than most other manufacturers.
They made OnStar part of a GM product's DNA.
If a buyer can't find enough to like about a GM product to outweigh lack of interest in one of the standard features, well that is too bad. But that is each individual's choice.
If someone doesn't buy a Vibe becuase they do not like the visablility out the decorative quarter window, it is the same thing.
They aren't free, the base price of the car increases to cover the equipment.
The 2008 Pontiac Solstice 2.4L start of production base price was $22,295. The 2007 Pontiac Solstice base price at the end of the production year was $22,115. Only a $180 difference for the new model year.
Additional standard equipment on the 2008 2.4L was Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Premium Accoustic Headliner ($150 in 2007), OnStar ($695), Driver's Information Center ($100), XM Radio ($199), and MP3 capatible US8 Radio ($195).
So the price difference between years, was less than the MSRP for just the radio.
They have annual fees associated with their maintenance. (I understand that paying for the service is optional.)
Yes. Annual fees that haven't changed, or have been lowered (when service was added) since the introduction of the factory installed system
It's a marketing ploy to increase the cost of the car and with the potential to continue to charge for services.
Yes it is an attempt to market the car, that is what GM does, it markets it's cars.
It doesn't increase the cost of the car.
While there is the potential to charge for service, GM doesn't appear to make that a priority by the way they have handled the pricing.
So where is the benefit to me as a consumer? I only see benefits to GM.
In the first 10 years of OnStar service (through July 2007), and as the customer base was building, OnStar had nearly 100 million customer interactions, including:
20 million calls for directions.
1.3 million roadside assistance requests.
2.4 million doors unlocked.
31 million diagnostic emails sent.
700 thousand emergencies handled.
28 thousand stolen vehicles located.
66 thousand automatic crash responses.
Over 1 billion hands free calling minutes sold.
Not sure the only benefits are to GM.
I don't mind paying for options I want, but I strong object to paying for those I don't.
If a buyer can't find enough to like about a GM product to outweigh lack of interest in one of the standard features, well that is too bad.
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss these issues.