General Motors has finally launched its Commercial Link fleet management service in Canada, about seven months later than planned, mainly because of Canada’s geography and bilingualism.
The platform, launched in the United States in 2016, is specifically designed for small businesses to access key vehicle information such as location, fuel level, distance driven and maintenance needs at any time.
“The localization and French customization were a more in-depth undertaking and we wanted to ensure that we could fully service customers across Canada before launching Commercial Link,” Chevrolet Canada spokeswoman Masha Marinkovic said in an email to Automotive News Canada on Wednesday.
The service uses data provided by the already embedded OnStar hardware and aims to provide small business owners with a detailed, near real-time view of their vehicle operations to more efficiently manage their fleet.
For example, a contractor could flag if one of his service vans was left idling for 30 minutes or took a circuitous route back to the office. Managers also can set the tool to receive an alert if an employee is speeding or if a vehicle leaves a preset geographic area.
The service will be available on most 2015 model year and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. GM Canada says it saves owners the cost of adding aftermarket hardware to access their vehicle data.
Commercial Link will give small business customers with an active OnStar account instant access to vehicle information through a website. A Commercial Link mobile app, through which business can access the data, will also be available for both Android and Apple devices.
Commercial Link can be customized around the needs of each fleet and its manager, allowing for personalized account dashboards and the ability to set up text or email alerts around sensitive items, such as if a driver is low on fuel or requires vehicle maintenance.
“Our customers are always looking for ways to increase the productivity of their vehicles, while at the same time saving money to become a better business,” said Peter Bagnall, director of General Motors fleet Canada. “Commercial Link provides an up-to-date component so that they are always in touch with their vehicles’ performance and location, no matter where they are.”
The reports include simple-to-read charts and graphs, including consolidated reporting for year-end analysis and business expense purposes.