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Are recurring subscriptions acceptable for auto makers to charge for use of the features they equip?

  • Yes, it inevitable

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Rally Racer
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Discussion Starter #1
All signs point to BMW moving to a pay-to-play model for its luxury features. Yes, that's right, you have to pay a recurring subscription to use the features you paid extra (heated seats, auto headlights, soudsystem, etc...) for when buying the vehicle..
TheDrive
Perhaps this is a result of many (probably most) people leasing vehicles. Or perhaps it is the partnership with crApple.

What do you think?
 

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Thanks for sharing this. I hadn't been aware of it, and I'd say I share your unwillingness to rent capabilities on something I've purchased. That said, this is a very interesting harbinger and it will be interesting to see what happens in the industry and the market.
 

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Super Moderator
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MICRO TRANSACTIONS HAVE RUINED THE WORLD

That being said, here's what I see:

Pros:
  • Can only pay for heated seats during the winter and save money during the summer.
  • Can opt-out of services you wouldn't want but would (otherwise) have been packaged with things you do want.
  • Lower up-front cost of the vehicle.
Cons:
  • BMW is monitoring where you are and what you're doing at ALL TIMES.
  • Microtransaction Hell.
  • Subscription Hell.
  • If a part breaks and you're not subscribed to its features, do you still pay for the cost of the whole part?
  • If you lose connection to the service, do you lose connection to the features?
  • If I pay for a vehicle and it's features, I want to own them, not rent them.
  • So many more.
 

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Makes sense. Younger people in this country are terrified of actually owning things.
 
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This is yet another sign of the demise of civilization.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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I just hope Mazda doesn't subscribe to this insane line of thought. Or else they'll be losing me (and thousands of others, I bet) as a repeat customer.
 

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It seems everything is becoming subscription based! Recently, I was curious on the badge "premium member". I already know that I have to pay to become one so I checked it out.

Lo and behold! It's subscription based.

I am currently using Zoom and the time limit is getting on my nerves so I decided to purchase it.

Lo and behold! It's subscription based.

I wanted to try the hand animation software, Doodle.

Lo and behold! It's subscription based.

The latest version of Microsoft Office?

Lo and behold! It's subscription based.

So yes, everything is becoming subscription based. I just can't believe they can do it on a car.

I hope they won't put a subscription to the steering wheel.
 

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I can see both sides. I would love to call Mazda and pay a little to add ventilated seats or head up display.

I heard about the BMW deal but I thought it could be a one time purchase. It could be a cheaper way to make cars more customizable. In BMWs case, I am sure it will be a way for them to charge more for less.

I worked for a machine manufacturer in the late 80’s that did the same thing. They shipped machines with all features. If a customer wanted to add a feature, we would send someone out to turn it on. It was a heck of a lot cheaper then taking apart a machine the size of a tractor trailer.
 

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There is zero reason to believe this will be more affordable and every indication it will cost more. Subscription models have been so rapidly adopted by so many industries because they are more profitable: that's why companies are in business.

There is every reason to believe that while BMW may be a 'leader' in this way, every manufacturer will do this within ten years. Look what happened with disk brakes, iDrive, and lots of other innovations. These are for-profit manufacturers in an incredibly tight market.

It will be interesting to see if this takes effect before there is wide-spread acceptance of not owning your car, whether it's 'Uber all the time' or an autonomous vehicle. Of course, even then it will be a competitive market: customers provide the revenue so they're the targets.

The world, and especially America, has accepted the belief that 'my car shows my personality and status.' (Me, too - I drive a Mazda, not a Yugo, and covet a Tesla and Pantera.) I've never felt that way about a cab, Uber, or autonomous vehicle, so expect wholesale shifts in societal outlooks as non-owned vehicles become the norm - and expect manufacturers to fight however they can.

The world's a changin', people. Now, all of you get off my lawn.
 

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I didn't notice but there's a poll here and the result is 100%. I'm so tempted to change my vote so that it will no longer be 100%.

I guess I'm starting to understand the "dislike" in YouTube.
😀
 

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IF somehow this does lower “base cost” of purchasing the vehicle originally it would only be a matter of a few years before they discretely build pricing back to where it’s already at AND make you continue with micro transactions..
Look at what happened with the cell phone industry - 10 years ago you got a “free” decent phone with your 2 year contract, but THEN plans got cheaper and you “leased” your phone, a few years later we still lease/pay monthly for our phones but the plans went back up to what we were paying before, just worded differently! Yay business...

End of the day no matter how “customer centric” a company says they are or how much they are all about “the ultimate driving experience” at the end of the day unfortunately they only care about the bottom line.


Well hopefully BMW, and any other manufacturers contemplating this kind of move learn something from EA, and walk away from this micro-transaction, subscription-based mess.
 

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Rally Racer
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Discussion Starter #17
@RevMedia I agree. If you're old enough you saw the exact thing with "commercial free" cable TV. All TV used to be free and as a result had to speak to everyone (mostly), conservative and liberal alike. A far cry for the echo chambers many reside in (and pay to do so) today. 🤷‍♂️
 

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@RevMedia I agree. If you're old enough you saw the exact thing with "commercial free" cable TV. All TV used to be free and as a result had to speak to everyone (mostly), conservative and liberal alike. A far cry for the echo chambers many reside in (and pay to do so) today. 🤷‍♂️

Anyone remember free dial up Internet when the internet was a new thing? I think it was about 1200 baud rate in the mid 1990s when the standard was 2400. You had to call in a dozen times to get a connection and of course it tied up the house phone BUT it was free.

In the end, you get what you pay for. A wise man said that in today’s environment if you aren’t paying for a product, you are the product.
 

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Anyone remember free dial up Internet when the internet was a new thing? I think it was about 1200 baud rate in the mid 1990s when the standard was 2400. You had to call in a dozen times to get a connection and of course it tied up the house phone BUT it was free.

In the end, you get what you pay for. A wise man said that in today’s environment if you aren’t paying for a product, you are the product.
sometimes I miss the ear-crushing sound of a dial up modem searching for internet connection.. I’ll occasionally call a fax line on my phone to feel a bit more connected to the past.

Oh the things today’s kids will never know...

..sometimes I like to turn the WiFi off and watch them panic.
 
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