HomeBusinessBMW senses the heat, stops charging for warming cheeks

BMW senses the heat, stops charging for warming cheeks

When BMW started charging an $18 per month subscription for heated seats in 2022, the response was swift and brutal. Customers united and urged others not to encourage this kind of behavior from automakers, lest it open the door for more perceived greed.

“You’ve already paid for it!” exclaimed one Reddit user. “The damn hardware is in your car and you already paid!”

Customers complained that subscribing to a hardware feature only makes sense if the initial cost is small or non-existent — and not if someone has already spent about $50,000 on a luxury car.

Now it appears that BMW will no longer charge customers for activating hardware-based features in the future, according to Autocar’s interview with Pieter Nota, BMW board member for sales and marketing. Nota did say, however, that BMW plans to expand its range of on-demand software services and features with future models, such as driving and parking assistance. The automaker is working to increase connectivity to cars with over-the-air updates.

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“We thought we would give the customer an extra service by offering the chance to activate that later, but the user acceptance is not that high,” Nota told Autocar. “People have the feeling that they paid twice – which was actually not true. , but perception is reality, I always say. So that was the reason we stopped doing that.”

Paying for and downloading software services, on the other hand, is well accepted by consumers who are used to that process because they own a smartphone.

Other automakers are also introducing subscription software services to increase sales. For example, Tesla is asking (again) $12,000 for its ‘Full Self-Driving’ driver assistance system. And General Motors aims to have a subscription business the size of Netflix by 2030 by selling services like the OnStar concierge in vehicles.

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