Between May 6 and June 16, OnStar's aftermarket telematics system, the OnStar FMV, is getting a lot cheaper with a price drop to just $99, which includes installation at participating consumer electronics retail outlets, including Best Buy.
When I took a look at the OnStar FMV last year, one of the only drawbacks that I could find was that the "price, installation, and subscription fees create a high cost of entry." At an MSRP of $299 with a subscription fee of $199 to $299 per year, adding an OnStar mirror to your car was no mere impulse purchase.
According to OnStar, the cost of entry hasn't stopped nearly 30,000 drivers from already pulling the trigger and installing an FMV unit in their rides. Among these subscribers, the telematics provider states that the top two vehicle makes for new FMV installs are Toyotas and Fords, making up 15.6 percent and 12.3 percent of new sales, respectively. And these aren't just old cars that we're talking about: 2011 model year owners were the most likely to have the FMV installed, followed by owners of 2007 and 2012 models.
Getting back to the price drop, OnStar is targeting the Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation present blitz that will soon be upon us, encouraging buyers to purchase the FMV for their loved ones with the newly lowered cost of entry. What's not changing is the monthly or annual subscription fee, which is where OnStar will make its money back in the long run. The telematics provider states in its release to the press:
According to the 2012 Coffee Business Statistics Report the average cup of coffee costs $1.38. The cost of OnStar FMV at $99.99 plus Directions and Connections service at $299 a year would cost $1.09 per day.
Getting always-on emergency crash response, stolen vehicle recovery service, turn-by-turn directions (albeit a bit clunky), and roadside assistance for about a buck per day? I'd say that's not a bad deal.