BMW confident about seeing success with subscriptions for heated seats
German luxury car brand BMW is confident that the fuss around its subscription service for heated seats and heated steering wheels will be over soon. The car manufacturer is betting big on the digital services offerings to its customers as a stream of revenue generation. Charging a monthly fee to the customers against some premium offerings is a strategy several automakers have been following for quite some time.
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For example, Tesla has been charging a monthly fee for some of its advanced driver assistance technology for a while. Ford and Volkswagen both have publicly mentioned how they see the subscription service generating revenue. BMW is the latest addition to the list with its subscription service for heated seats, heated steering wheels, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control etc.
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However, soon after launching the programme, BMW witnessed a backlash from critics as they believed customers would find way to hack to activate the feature and bypass the paywall software of the automaker. They cited the example of BMW's previous attempt to introduce a subscription service for Apple CarPlay access. While some customers found a hack to avoid the paywall, they even viewed it as needless software. This eventually resulted in BMW backtracking. While times have changed and people are more open to subscription services, BMW critics believe the automaker is again making a mistake.
Speaking about this BMW spokesperson Torsten Julich said to Bloomberg that mobility demands from customers are not as static as they used to be, which is understandable to some extent. "A year-long subscription or paying thousands of dollars for a feature like Tesla’s Full Self Driving makes less sense than paying a one-time monthly fee when we go on a road trip, Julich further added.