General Motors Turns Cars Into Mobile Hub




General Motors efforts in turning cars into mobile hubs is a way to connect with buyers.  This may give consumers easier access to applications and services that require high-speed cell or data connection.



GM will equip more than 30 models with fourth-generation Wi-Fi [4G LTE] hot spots by year’s end, allowing consumers to connect up to seven mobile devices at once.  Users can also stay connected up to 50 feet away from the vehicle.  This move reflects how connected car interest is driving automakers to integrate the newest technology in more models.



Mobile Marketer interviewed John McFarland, senior manager of global strategic marketing and infotainment with Detroit-based GM, who discussed how mobile fits into the largest United States automaker’s plans and how it is helping its vehicle brands drive customer engagement.  Here are some of the questions:





How is GM using connected car technology to market the brand?


“General Motors is very focused on connected technology. It’s a way to make the overall ownership and driving experience for cars better. And we believe we’re differentiated from our competitors.”
“If you look back 18 years ago when we launched OnStar [a help-summoning system for motorists in trouble], which was very much an industry first at the time, it’s a brand that was built on providing safety and security solutions for our consumers. But the backbone of that was and still is very much connectivity and connected vehicles.”
“So even 18 years ago we had what you could call a connected car.  Today, the way that we are using that connectivity platform has changed dramatically.”
To what extent is GM’s effort to market itself tied to allowing businesses to create applications?
“You’re going to see 4G LTE as a key selling point in a lot of the advertising from OnStar, from Chevrolet, from our other brands. They’re going to be highlighting the marketing aspect around 4G LTE and all the things it can do with your connected vehicles.
We believe that it’s something that can build the brand and help reinforce what we’re trying to do as a company. And we think customers are going to be very excited about everything we know. We know this is a potential game-changer for us.
How important to the mobile consumer is GM’s in-vehicle hot spot, which can connect up to seven devices that use Wi-Fi?
It’s very important. It varies on who the specific consumer is and which vehicle segment they’re in. But we know that family vehicles, SUVs, any type of consumer that has people within the car quite often, it’s something that really resonates, it gets them really excited. It also gets the passengers really excited, as well.
“Specifically, you think about trucks. You think about big SUVs. And then you think about anyone who uses their vehicles in their job.”
“Having [in-car] connectivity and then to actually get out of your vehicle and be able to set it up on a mobile workspace so you can have your other colleagues use it as well, is very powerful.”
“We think it is going to transform the way a lot of our customers use their vehicles. On the job site, on the work site.”
Are mainstream consumers going to want to pay for that 4G LTE connection on top of their smartphone service?
“We’re making a market here. The core part of our strategy was ensuring that what we’re doing is accessible to consumers. Part of accessibility is availability. That’s why you see that [the 4G LTE hotspot] is standard on vehicles all the way from the Chevrolet Spark up to a Corvette over to Cadillac. So it’s a broad range.”
Connectivity is now a way of life which brings the importance of mobile to a forefront.  Having a mobile presence and advertising with mobile reaches people everywhere and anywhere.
 For more information on how to implement these strategies into your dealership’s mobile ad campaigns, contact Elena Ciccotelli at for a free consultation.

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