Want to turn on seat heating? Pay first. BMW will start selling options in their cars by subscription


Last updated on December 8th, 2022 at 02:16 pm

BMW follows Tesla’s example, but it’s not clear where this road will lead the Bavarians

Tesla cars are an example for many auto giants for a number of reasons: both because of their timeliness, and because of their innovativeness, and even because of the business model. The latter involves the inclusion or improvement of a number of functions for a fee. BMW wants to follow the same path. Only if in Tesla a fee is charged for some important things like removing the software unit for battery capacity or turning on the autopilot, then BMW wants to make the practice of subscribing to options broader. Up to seat heating!


Want to turn on seat heating? Pay first. BMW will start selling options in their cars by subscription

Everything will work as micropayments in the application. The company announced on Wednesday that all cars equipped with the latest software based on the “operating system 7” will soon receive an update that allows the company to enable or disable various functions of the car, from heating the seats to the driving assistance system. For example, the same active cruise control. And companies are going to use this opportunity for monetization.

The scheme will work in different ways. The easiest way is to enable features that the buyer did not initially order, but which he wanted to use. It can be, for example, full-time navigation. The method works in the opposite direction: navigation is not needed – you can “unsubscribe” from it. 

BMW has not yet specified mechanics, prices, or even the timing of the innovation, but it’s already clear that in order to resort to this business model, BMW will have to install, if not all, then at least most of the functions in all cars – hardware level. And they will be already turned on or off programmatically. Of course, this increases the cost of the final product, but the company clearly expects the subscription to compensate for production costs. And in this regard, a big reckoning on the secondary market: it is assumed that when buying a used car, the new owner will be able to “tune” it to your taste based on personal preferences.

How expensive can options be in a BMW? Here, of course, you can give free rein to imagination, given the fact that we are talking about a premium brand, but here is one example: for the support of CarPlay in a car at BMW they asked for a one-time surcharge of $ 300. By subscription, this option costs $ 80 per year.

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