BMW Is Planning to Sell Heated Seats and More as a Subscription - Page 2 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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G30 (2017 - Current)
The next generation 5 Series, chassis code G30, arrives at dealers in February 2017. Looking like a scaled down 7 Series and riding on the CLAR platform, the new 5 Series will have a focus on lightweight and sporty performance. Engines options will come from BMW's new B family for the 530 and 540 and a turbocharged V8 for the M550i. Read more about the 2017 5 Series

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  #26  
Old 07-06-2020, 02:08 PM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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But BMW already DOES build features into cars which are not automatically unlocked. I have the Adaptive LED's in my car, but the anti-dazzle feature has been disabled. I can enable it by coding. I can also increase the power of my motor via a software change, using a BMW chip or one from an aftermarket tuner. I can even reset my service indicators if I don't want to pay the dealer for that. The basic infrastructure was there all along (I'm not changing pistons, oil coolers or any other hardware, just the algorithms). Similarly, I can add rear fogs, put an analog clock on my display, or switch to an Alpina display, all by coding. We are already driving cars with features which are turned off. Think of them as Easter Eggs.

The one difference is that to add power, add rear fogs, restore anti-dazzle or change my display, I am paying a one time charge to the chip manufacturer or the coder. All the subscription fee does is shift that cost from a lump sum to installments.

Look, I get that some folks don't like the idea or can't wrap their heads around it. Maybe BMW is an early adapter, or maybe they will get their head handed to them by the market. I'm just surprised that so many foks are reacting emotionally, rather than saying "Hmm. That's an interesting concept. I wonder if it will work?"
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  #27  
Old 07-06-2020, 02:23 PM
LogicalApex LogicalApex is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
But BMW already DOES build features into cars which are not automatically unlocked. I have the Adaptive LED's in my car, but the anti-dazzle feature has been disabled. I can enable it by coding. I can also increase the power of my motor via a software change, using a BMW chip or one from an aftermarket tuner. I can even reset my service indicators if I don't want to pay the dealer for that. The basic infrastructure was there all along (I'm not changing pistons, oil coolers or any other hardware, just the algorithms). Similarly, I can add rear fogs, put an analog clock on my display, or switch to an Alpina display, all by coding. We are already driving cars with features which are turned off. Think of them as Easter Eggs.

The one difference is that to add power, add rear fogs, restore anti-dazzle or change my display, I am paying a one time charge to the chip manufacturer or the coder. All the subscription fee does is shift that cost from a lump sum to installments.

Look, I get that some folks don't like the idea or can't wrap their heads around it. Maybe BMW is an early adapter, or maybe they will get their head handed to them by the market. I'm just surprised that so many foks are reacting emotionally, rather than saying "Hmm. That's an interesting concept. I wonder if it will work?"
Anti-dazzle lights are disabled due to regulatory requirements in the US. So paying a coder to unlock them isn't the same since the OEM can't offer you such an option. It does help save them some money by not requiring them to redesign headlights just for the US though.

The other software tweaks you mentioned are designed to allow them similar flexibility. They could move the service indicator reset behind their diagnostics tool, but I'm sure they don't to allow resets to be easily done by dealer techs AND to allow similar easy reset once the car is 7 years old an unlikely turning up in the dealer's service bay.

If BMW starts selling every option as a subscription they'll be the biggest benefactor to a bump in Mercedes and Tesla sales I can assure you. It is why you don't see a subscription for CarPlay anymore even though the annual or lifetime cost were not substantial to any BMW owner. The nickel and dime image it portrayed made Mercedes have a much easier time selling MBUX to customers.
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  #28  
Old 07-06-2020, 03:16 PM
BobinIl BobinIl is online now
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If these subscription based features/options actually get off the ground for BMW, and are profitable, you can bet others will follow.
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  #29  
Old 07-06-2020, 03:18 PM
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.... The only money BMW makes from the used lot directly is the charges they push onto dealers to "certify" a car that meets their CPO standards. Otherwise, there is zero revenue bumps for them on a used car (unless they can convince the used buyer to pony up for ConnectedDrive). This would give them some room to play around with here..
The two places dealerships make 99% of their profit is used (pre-owned) cars and service. The margins on new cars is very slim. Kind of like a restaurant; the vast majority of their profit comes from alcohol sales. They don't make all that much on the food.

I have no problem paying $50 for RTTI and BMW online. I have no need for the ConnectedDrive; I can make my own reservations. Nickle and diming and de-contenting usually don't end well.
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  #30  
Old 07-06-2020, 03:24 PM
day03tls day03tls is offline
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I haven't owned a printer (POS) in years, I use Docusign. It's a signature SUBSCRIPTION service. Bwahhhhh!!!! I refuse to buy ink cartridges.

Last edited by day03tls; 07-06-2020 at 03:27 PM.
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  #31  
Old 07-06-2020, 05:22 PM
guyinacar guyinacar is online now
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Asking the driver to contemplate each feature's intrinsic value constantly while "paying as you go" is a double-edged sword for the OEM. Yes, BMW might move a lot of crippled-by-software vehicles... at first. But they may also find that folks in the most expensive US cities have precious little reason to pay for much beyond a basic Kia-like ride.

Our city-wide speed limit in Boston is 25mph, and they're planning to reduce it to 20mph on surface roads (with certain exceptions). Can my X5 do about 140? Sure. Indeed it can. But can drivers realistically do 140 (or even 70) while living in this ZIP code ? Not so much. Maybe I'll plan to turn on that "feature" someday if I drive to Montana. In the meantime, it'd be an interesting conversation to knock about 50% off MSRP for the stuff I almost never use. Now, BMW, about that tow package, and about that concierge service...

Last edited by guyinacar; 07-06-2020 at 06:29 PM.
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  #32  
Old 07-06-2020, 07:35 PM
Pierre Louis Pierre Louis is offline
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If BMW starts to no longer sell cars and decides to be a consulting firm that "rents out" its tech, maybe that would work for some but so far the renting/insurance packaging schemes appear to be more of a convenience that costs a bundle.

However, with unlimited possible tech development, say for example, a built-in dash cam feature using a complex set of cameras as equipped, maybe the cost of maintaining confidentiality and other functionalities is more reasonable as an ongoing, say, semi-annual fee which would include storage of videos in the cloud etc. not necessarily desired by a buyer when sold as a used car.
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  #33  
Old 07-06-2020, 10:24 PM
Jack_88 Jack_88 is offline
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My concern is that they will go the way of cable companies and bundle in the things you don't want with the things you do, so that you end up overbuying. This already happens enough as it is when it's hardware. When it's all a software update away, they might be tempted to lean harder into this practice.
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  #34  
Old 07-07-2020, 03:54 PM
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I will not buy a BMW requiring subscriptions for features. End of story.
Totally agree, add me to the list of not buying from any car manufacturer that has the audacity to charge for the options at purchase and also for monthly use of the option. Atrocious. BMW should be ashamed.
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  #35  
Old 07-07-2020, 04:02 PM
Dr. G7 Dr. G7 is offline
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It sounds strange, unlike BMW, ya the subscription part, but that does mean they will have to produce cars with the hardware part already installed.
Huge upfront cost on a gamble, that is the unlikely part. Not to mention how long it would take the coders/hackers to crack and turn on everything!
They are already wired in...a toggle switch and some wire. Done.
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  #36  
Old 07-07-2020, 04:08 PM
richardw42 richardw42 is online now
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For anything that requires hardware with a not-insignificant cost, subscription service is just not going to work.

Sirius radio requires additional software in the head unit, and probably a few chips to receive the different frequency bands, maybe a dollar or 5 to implement per car. Very low cost and the kickback BMW gets from Sirius will easily cover that, and more importantly the cost of the additional hardware is a fraction of a % on the new car price / lease cost.

Expensive hardware items like heated seats? A few hundred $ per car. BMW either suck it up from their profits hoping to make it back later or add the cost to the buyer / leaser.

Auto pilot? Probably tens of $1000 to add all the hardware, what's the subscription going to be? $500 a month? $0.50 a month?

Can't see it working at all.
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  #37  
Old 07-07-2020, 04:09 PM
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It'll just get hacked and become free. or ???
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  #38  
Old 07-07-2020, 04:17 PM
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  #39  
Old 07-07-2020, 04:23 PM
satyaban satyaban is offline
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Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
That linked article is full of "maybe's", "might be", etc. Nobody will ever be able to sell a car with a physical item, such as heated seats, being a "pay as you go" item. This will never happen. I think the article is a disservice and has little basis in actual fact.

That said, all this subscription nonsense has to end. How many "low monthly payments" are people (i.e., millennials?) willing to spend? Sell me an item, I pay for it, it's mine -- not yours.
The article doesn't cite its source so I am with you. I can understand software updates but heated seats? As an option it should offer more than just 3 setting but I don't know what enhancements a (premium) subscription could bring.
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  #40  
Old 07-07-2020, 04:26 PM
satyaban satyaban is offline
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Originally Posted by Dr. G7 View Post
They are already wired in...a toggle switch and some wire. Done.
Right, this a bum article, I think.
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  #41  
Old 07-07-2020, 04:38 PM
Tranquility255 Tranquility255 is offline
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Would this apply to current cars on the road (though technically not ‘owned’)??? If they apply this to my d, there might be a used diesel on the market in 2021....
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  #42  
Old 07-07-2020, 05:36 PM
buckeyewalt buckeyewalt is offline
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The heated seats(if it comes to that) is only the beginning. Instead of packaged option that you buy, BMW will rent you these options for a set price. Buy a car from a dealer, option packages are leased through BMW.

This is my 5th BMW(X5 5.0)....I'm gone if they go that route. Too many other cars are available without any of this BS.
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  #43  
Old 07-07-2020, 05:43 PM
njlou njlou is offline
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IF BMW wants to make a lot of money on a constant basis, they would only have to make engine parts of plastic, and use cheap quality seals/o-rings so that they have to be replaced at very high cost.
Oh wait they do that now!
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  #44  
Old 07-07-2020, 05:43 PM
J-RO J-RO is offline
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Didn't BMW try this with Apple Carplay and then rescinded it a year later?
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  #45  
Old 07-07-2020, 05:45 PM
rkmillerjr rkmillerjr is offline
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The whole concept of subscription is greedy! I am still pissed off because I had to pay $300.00 for Apple Car Play (ACP) and then they later changed it to subscription. It came in a Chevrolet and Honda (and many other cars where it was available) without additional cost. Now I understand the subscription for ACP does not exist anymore. I’m still waiting on my $300.00 reimbursement!!!***129315;***128076;***127996;
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  #46  
Old 07-07-2020, 06:27 PM
wcr3d wcr3d is offline
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Originally Posted by Dr. G7 View Post
They are already wired in...a toggle switch and some wire. Done.
What is wired in?
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  #47  
Old 07-07-2020, 07:26 PM
ChadP ChadP is offline
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Originally Posted by wcr3d View Post
It sounds strange, unlike BMW, ya the subscription part, but that does mean they will have to produce cars with the hardware part already installed.
Huge upfront cost on a gamble, that is the unlikely part. Not to mention how long it would take the coders/hackers to crack and turn on everything!
I’m definitely in the minority but I bought my car without any options possible for weight savings. Why would I want to take a car to the track with all that crap installed because someone after me might want to turn them on?
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  #48  
Old 07-07-2020, 07:32 PM
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Very irritating that this is the way things are going. The CarPlay thing was a bit of a joke, but you know it got the other manufacturers stroking their beards.
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  #49  
Old 07-07-2020, 08:08 PM
rkmillerjr rkmillerjr is offline
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Yes, the “reimbursement“ comment was intended put some jocularity into the conversation!
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  #50  
Old 07-07-2020, 08:45 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Recurring revenue models rock. Even better with evergreen contracts. If you’re on the money collecting end of course.

I’d venture to say it’s the second try for bmw. Wasn’t Apple car play a subscriber? Then the rest of the industry didn’t follow so bmw backpedaled.

Wonder if this will hold. These features will become like satellite radio. No one screams about that but it’s the same concept.

Maybe they’ll have an el cheapo lifetime option for those who hold 4 years or longer. Then you’re just gambling about the cost per month averaged out over time. Will I get tired of the car? Will it get totaled? Will I outlive the subscription? My friend Bob who had HIV back in the late 80’s once explained his quandary over magazine renewals: ‘Do I renew for 12 months, or do I feel like I’ll live long enough to save $3 a year by renewing for 36 months?’ What a crazy question for a 32 year old who otherwise looked to be as healthy as a horse. Sadly, 24 months would have been the right answer. Never forgot that. RIP Bob.


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