Moving to aggressively expand its scope well beyond the GM fold, OnStar has announced it will begin retailing its services nationally through more than 1,100 Best Buy stores starting this spring. Customers of non-GM and older GM vehicles will be able to obtain a variety of popular OnStar coverages by purchasing a stand-alone rearview mirror which will retail for $299 (plus installation, which is expected to run about $75) and then selecting from a menu of services that includes Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, one-button access to emergency and roadside services, and hands-free calling, including Bluetooth connectivity. Pricing for OnStar packages will start at $18.95 a month or $199 per year, and OnStar anticipates naming other strategic marketing partners in the months ahead. The new OnStar mirror is currently certified to work on 99 percent of the top 20-selling non-GM vehicles produced in the last decade, and more models are already in the pipeline.

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"For years, thousands of drivers have asked us to get OnStar in vehicles that didn't feature it as standard," said Chris Preuss, OnStar president. "This move in to the consumer electronics space represents the biggest development in our business model since introducing OnStar as standard across all GM products several years ago. It represents a quantum leap forward in our plans to grow our business and provide a strong new revenue base for GM and OnStar from which we can further develop our core offerings in the factory-equipped market."

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