Detroit car dealers fear GM ditching CarPlay ‘could go bad’

GM snubs CarPlay

GM’s replacement for CarPlay is due at the end of 2023, but its dealers are in the dark about when that will be and what it will do to sales when buyers figure it out.

Together Apple CarPlay and the equivalent Android Auto are the in giant majority of cars launched today. That’s why it came as such a surprise when GM announced that it was dropping support for these systems in favor of its own, new one.

Now according to the Detroit Free Press, the first GM cars without CarPlay are due to start being launched in the fall. Yet with just a few months to go, GM car dealers say they are still in the dark.

“I don’t even know the name of (GM’s) new system,” a source representing many dealers told the Detroit Free Press, “much less what benefits our customers can expect.”

“Nobody has had any communication from GM,” continued the dealer. “What am I supposed to tell my customers?”

There is reportedly no beta test, at least not outside GM. Then with CarPlay’s satisfaction rating always being high, the dealer representative says the GM’s system can’t afford problems — and can’t afford to be anything less than spectacular.

“The new system can’t just work,” said the dealer source said. “It has to be the best in the market. It’s got to be better than CarPlay.”

“Why are we doing this with the launch of our most important new vehicles?” continued the dealer source. “Shouldn’t all the resources devoted to developing it have been spent on launching the actual vehicles? There’s an infinite number of ways this could go bad.”

“We would hate for there to be a hiccup in the launch of these key new products,” said another source, identified only as being a dealer or salesperson. “We have a lot riding on this.”

GM has previously said that people who buy a new GM electric vehicle will get access to features such as Google Maps for free — for eight years. After that, GM expects people to subscribe for what they used to get free with CarPlay, and ultimately sees it giving GM a potential $25 billion revenue stream.

According to the Detroit Free Press, GM has now also says that its unnamed system will do everything CarPlay can, except allow users to dial your iPhone contacts. Users will have to add a separate contact list to their car’s system, and thereby return us to pre-iCloud days and the confusion over which device has the right contact details.

“CarPlay’s not broken. Why fix it” said another source. “The risk of failure is very high.”

Perhaps aware that GM would be pulling out of CarPlay support, Apple gave an unusually early sneak peek at the future of the feature at WWDC in 2022.


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