We consider what PSA's acquisition of Vauxhall and Opel could mean for the company's connected services.
1. No access
GM could decide not to provide OnStar services to PSA, in which case all of GM’s European telematics operations could shut down and future Opel/Vauxhalls may need to be fitted with a PSA connectivity solution.
2. Access under license
GM could choose to license OnStar to PSA (as they did for many years with other brands), which could also allow PSA to leverage OnStar in other markets such as China.
3. European-only acquisition
The last scenario (which seem less likely, due to reports that GM would keep its OnStar brand in Europe) is for PSA to acquire the knowledge, people, infrastructure and services that OnStar Europe has established.
If PSA secures access to OnStar, there are various reasons to believe that it may roll it out across the rest of its line-up:
Extensive CRM experience
Having been in operation for over 20 years, OnStar’s understanding of its existing and potential customer base is unparalleled. More than any other car maker, they have streamlined the registration, onboarding and renewal process to maximize subscription rates.
Proven services suite
OnStar offers a more comprehensive range of services when compared to PSA, with deeper expertise within remote diagnostics, warranty analysis and over-the-air updates. By integrating OnStar, PSA brands could catch up (and even overtake) other European manufacturers.
OnStar has a long-established global infrastructure including data centers in Europe. If PSA gained access to this, it would again give them a route to fast, efficient expansion of their connected services.
The acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall has prompted many unknowns and the coming months will see significant change for all stakeholders, including OnStar. However, access to its services could well offer PSA a fast-track to a proven and well-established suite of services that would transform its current connectivity offering.
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