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General Motors CEO in Boston promotes auto technology

At a speech in Boston Thursday General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson said the American car company is stepping up its efforts to woo younger drivers, including opening an app store to bring new technologies to its vehicles.

Akerson spoke at the Boston College Chief Executives’ Club of Boston Thursday afternoon, outlining some of the initiatives the automotive giant undertaken since receiving a government bailout package in 2008.

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“It’s a different GM than it was a few years ago,” Akerson said.

Earlier this week General Motors announced it had retained a new team of advertising agencies that includes Hill Holliday of Boston for its Cadillac brand. Hill Holliday’s chief creative officer, Lance Jensen, has received plaudits within the industry for creating striking ads that appeal to young consumers, such as the “Drivers Wanted “ campaign for Volkswagen.

Akerson mostly touched on General Motors’ technology initiatives.

“We see automotive becoming the next technology platform,” he said, adding that there’s an “irresistible need for people to stay connected.”

In February, the company announced the addition of 4G-LTE mobile broadband to most GM models starting next year, which will allow the car to become a wireless hotspot. “We want to turn every car into an Internet node,” Akerson said.

Additionally, a new website, developer.gm.com, allows coders and Web developers to create apps for car owners for safety, navigation, or other consumer needs and concerns. The site currently has 2,000 registered users, Akerson said.

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