Kids Turn to OnStar for News on Santa’s Journey


DETROIT--Dec. 20, 2013: Starting on Christmas Eve, families traveling in General Motors’ vehicles with OnStar services will be able to learn Santa’s whereabouts by simply pressing the blue OnStar button in the U.S., Canada and now in Mexico.

For the fifth consecutive year, OnStar is providing the service through collaboration with the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, “Track Santa” program.

From 7 a.m. on December 24 until 5 a.m. on December 25, anyone with an active OnStar subscription can request a “Santa Update,” which an OnStar advisor will provide based on NORAD information.

“Our advisors really get into the holiday spirit when responding to these calls,” said Terry Inch, OnStar chief operating officer. “They put on their Santa hats and elf ears and wholeheartedly take advantage of the opportunity to spread such joy to the children.”

“The Santa Seeker Service added special magical feeling to our day,” said OnStar subscriber Jocelyn Farkas, who requested a Santa update last year. “I am not sure who was more excited to go out on errands in the car – my kids or my husband. We were all giddy to find out which country Santa was in while he made his way to our home.”

Other OnStar subscribers plan to take advantage of the service again this season:

“Since we are a military family, we never know where we will be for Christmas each year. But this is something that we can do together no matter where we are,” said OnStar subscriber Bethany Auth, who along with husband, Patrick, and 6-year-old Shane, 4-year-old Kayleigh and 2-year-old Brayden contacted OnStar for Santa updates five to six times last year.

“The advisors are nothing but amazing when we call,” she said. “The kids constantly want to push the button, so we call in a few times to give everyone in the family a chance to ask the advisor about Santa. When my oldest son hears the update from the advisor, he goes right away to find the location on a map.”

So how does OnStar keep up with the high volume of inquiries from these curious little callers?

“Our first priority is always the safety and security of our subscribers,” said Inch. “But we make adjustments in staff so that we are able to respond to the Santa calls as well as our day-to-day calls for assistance.”

“For nearly 60 years, NORAD has employed the same military technology used every day for Homeland Defense mission to also track Santa during his Yuletide journey," said Stacey Knott, NORAD Tracks Santa program manager. "We use our military satellites, radars, fighter jets and Santa Cams to tell the world Santa's location every Christmas Eve.”

Individuals without OnStar technology can also follow Santa’s progress via the NORAD Tracks Santa website, Facebook page Twitter hashtag #NoradSanta or by calling the hotline at 1-877-HI-NORAD.

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