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Hopefully this is a trial balloon. I'm pretty sure the hue & cry from the public will stop this in its tracks. One of the reasons Tesla doesn't interest me is their attitude that you may own the car, but THEY own the technology.
 

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One version I have read is that it will enable BMW to sell features to customers that they didn't originally ask for. This could be a real benefit for used car buyers as it would increase their ability to find cars with features they want. So if this is the plan, I approve.

If, on the other hand, BMW intends to force consumers to pay for features on a subscription basis whether they want to or not, then I will go elsewhere.

Of course, BMW could care less if I approve or go elsewhere.
 

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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!
 

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I will not buy a BMW requiring subscriptions for features. End of story.
Could not agree more. As wrc says, the heated seats would have to already be installed. There is no additional cost on their part for the owner to use them. I predict it never gets off the ground.
 

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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.
 

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...
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.
It's that way with cable/satellite TV. If I paid for all the TV subscriptions I would need to get the same channels I would pay as much or more as the cable/satellite. Seems this "monthly payments" thing is out of hand. Went from houses to cars to appliances to phones and now just about everything is "monthly payments." My wife was on the focus group Disneyland used to determine if people would go for annual pass monthly payments :yikes: Companies are making millions on "low monthly payments!"
 

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///Monkeyazz Duck
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To CUT DOWN PRODUCTIONS COSTS BY BUILDING EVERY CAR WITH A FULL SET OF FEATURES, THEN ALLOW consumers pay by subscription for ONLY THOSE FEATURES WHICH THEY REALLY WANT, AND TO MAKE PRE-OWNED PURCHASES MORE APPEALING SINCE YOU NO LONGER WILL HAVE TO SPEND MONTHS SEARCHING FOR A CPO WITH THE EXACT FEATURES YOU WANT is BRILLIANT:
Fixed that for you, Nancy.
 

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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.
A year or so ago I did a software update on my MacBook Air computer. Excel was no longer on the computer. I had bought and paid for it. In order to get it back I would have to enter the passcode, which I could not find, nor could I find any record of buying it.

I had just assumed it was downloaded on my computer. I never even gave a thought to the fact I actually did not have "possession" of it. They lost my business and I finally forced myself to deal with "Numbers", Apples answer to Excel.
 

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///Monkeyazz Duck
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I disagree about the future of subscription services.

When I was a kid, we had a big old metal antenna on our roof, so we could watch 6 or 7 channels of broadcast TV. So did all our neighbors. The really tech savvy ones had a motorized antenna and got 9 or 10 channels. Now we all have 100-plus channels of cable TV or Dish TV, and both are subscription services.

When VHS and BetaMax were introduced, you could purchase a copy of a Hollywood movie for $19.99. Pretty soon, those sales were supplanted by shops which rented you that same movie, on VHS, Laserdisk or DVD. Those rentals were a subscription service. Now those subscription views come from your cable provider, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.

An awful lot of us lease our BMW's. That's a subscription service.

I don't own a plane, so when I travel on business or pleasure, I fly JetBlue or Delta. That seat is a subscription service. So is the Sixt or Budget car I rent when I land, or the Uber, Lyft or commuter rail I take to my hotel. If I've rented a car, the valet service at the hotel is a subscription service, as is the hotel room itself.

On the 4th of July I worked out at the health club in the morning, then went to the beach in the afternoon. Both the monthly club membership and the beach sticker on my car are subscription services.

Every BMW made today has a Sirius XM receiver built in, plus BMW Assist. You get a free trial period of both, then have the option to continue them if you find them useful. Yep. Subscription services.

My son just bought a low mileage 135. My daughter is looking for a short term lease assumption until she can move back to Manhattan. Both of them WISH BMW's had been built with MORE subscription services. It is next-to-impossible to find a used car or lease assumption with exactly the combination of options you want, so you either go without or spend more $$$ than you'd like, buying a used car or assuming a lease that has non-subscription options you don't want.

So let's not pretend that subscription services aren't prevalent in the market place today. If you want to skip cable and have a big old antenna, if you want to buy a DVD of every movie, if you want to purchase a private plane for travel, if you want to own a home in every place you travel to, if you want to build a home Gym, and buy a beach home instead of a beach sticker, more power to you. But please don't act like folks who see the value of subscription services are wrong.

PS: Regarding software. Why would anyone NOT want a subscription? Why would I want a fixed version of software, which was never updated when security vulnerabilities were discovered? My whole life is run from my laptop, and I absolutely want to have patches and updates pushed down to me when the Russian, NK and Chinese hackers come calling. I'm happy owning furniture, my home and my barbecue grill. But anything connected to the internet? Damn straight I want that constantly updated. I doubt very much you are running DOS or Windows ME, so why wouldn't you want all your other software (like MS Office) up to date?
 

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Subscriptions

Perfectly stated Quackbury. We are in a subscription economy driven by frequent change. I sell software subscriptions for a living. The use cases for the subscriptions are typically 1-3 years as the use case changes. Just like people, our needs change. Why cant I sign on with BMW for a 3 year term and drive any BMW. Of course my payment price will vary as I swap out into a different series, but I would have the option to change more frequently based on need. FLEXIBILITY!!! Everything is on loan and built to expire. I am not attached to my BMW, I simply enjoy the craftsmanship. The hardest part is to change people to think this way as these cars are truly becoming one big software CPU.

VOLVO is currently doing this. https://www.volvocars.com/us/care-by-volvo/
 

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I usually sell my premium/useful car by 200,000 miles or 6 years. "Renting" is not my idea of a premium experience or value. If I lease a car, its to manage finances. I usually buy out the lease at the end or trade the car in when my needs change. I understand software updates and would pay a nominal fee for it but would rather see "free" updates.
 

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Perfectly stated Quackbury. We are in a subscription economy driven by frequent change. I sell software subscriptions for a living. The use cases for the subscriptions are typically 1-3 years as the use case changes. Just like people, our needs change. Why cant I sign on with BMW for a 3 year term and drive any BMW. Of course my payment price will vary as I swap out into a different series, but I would have the option to change more frequently based on need. FLEXIBILITY!!! Everything is on loan and built to expire. I am not attached to my BMW, I simply enjoy the craftsmanship. The hardest part is to change people to think this way as these cars are truly becoming one big software CPU.
Mercedes offers this option. You can rent the car with insurance included and do unlimited swaps or the like. Not something I am remotely interested in.

I am not a fan of never ending payment treadmills. They make a ton of sense for businesses, but less so for us consumers. It sounds good on the surface that you can “just swap around” and drive a nice car fir the weekend then back to a daily oriented model for the week and all that mess. You can also update all the time. But good luck hoping off the treadmill. You’ve just pissed the money away.

But I see subscriptions as leaches and keep them to a disciplined low.
 

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I disagree about the future of subscription services....
A one enablement or activation is one thing, continuing to pay for a "physical" option, like an extreme case, heated seats, is another. My car has heated seats, I can turn them on whenever I want because I paid a price for them. I don't think you would agree that for the ability to continue using the heated seats, you or anyone else, is willing to pay "xxx" per month. Same with A/C. Are you saying you would support an option to pay for HVAC "services" in a car on an ongoing monthly basis? Software and hardware are two different things. If a car is built with "every" item initially, and you pay an activation fee, which is basically equivalent to having bought the item to begin with, then I can see that possibly.

Of course I also have various subscription services. The one "pro" is continuous upgrades, as you mention. The other aspects are strong down-sides. Like continuous price increases for one. Cable TV is reaching absurd pricing for example. Here's a good example, which I think is fair. I use Quicken to track expenses, basically my virtual checkbook. They have gone to a subscription service, but it is only $50 per year, and I get the latest upgrades. However, I am a big user of Photoshop, although not so much at the moment. I still use the last non-subscription CS4 version that I bought outright. Why do I want to pay $30 a month, or whatever it is, when I might use it sporadically after a vacation, or other event, where I need to edit a batch of pictures? There are pros and cons to everything. But again, paying continuously for a physical device in a car, to me, is a faulty proposition.
 

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I can***8217;t help but wonder if this path is one where BMW will try to maximize revenue from the used market.

Where features that were purchased on the car might need to be repurchased by used customers.
 

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My E46 had all the sensors and code for the burglar alarm installed at the factory. But, to make it work I had to pay for the siren (1000+ 0% mark-up) and pay the dealer to turn on that section of code.

Options are cheap. They're the most profitable part of the car. With subscription options, BMW could load every BMW up with options. That'd make car shopping off the lot easier. They could sell the same car to some high roller like the monkeyazzduck, or to some cheapskate. When the car's turned back in after the lease (55% of BMW's are leased), they have the same flexibility when the car's on the dealer's used car lot.

Back before turbocharging, BMW was making six-cylinder engine blocks out of dual-alloy magnesium and aluminum. The process was complex. So, a 323i and a 328i both had 2.8 liter engines. But the 323i was a few $k cheaper, and detuned (different software, and maybe different cylinder heads with smaller valve diameters). The cheapskates got the 323i. But, the high rollers paid extra for a car that had more performance, but didn't cost one extra penny to build.

This is just a new twist on the same old game car makers have been doing since they started making cars. They're going to do everything they can to get every penny from you that you are willing to pay.

Besides, it can only work on the electronics options. You can't subscribe to Merino leather or plum brown Individual wood.
 

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My E46 had all the sensors and code for the burglar alarm installed at the factory. But, to make it work I had to pay for the siren (1000+ 0% mark-up) and pay the dealer to turn on that section of code.

Options are cheap. They're the most profitable part of the car. With subscription options, BMW could load every BMW up with options. That'd make car shopping off the lot easier. They could sell the same car to some high roller like the monkeyazzduck, or to some cheapskate. When the car's turned back in after the lease (55% of BMW's are leased), they have the same flexibility when the car's on the dealer's used car lot.

Back before turbocharging, BMW was making six-cylinder engine blocks out of dual-alloy magnesium and aluminum. The process was complex. So, a 323i and a 328i both had 2.8 liter engines. But the 323i was a few $k cheaper, and detuned (different software, and maybe different cylinder heads with smaller valve diameters). The cheapskates got the 323i. But, the high rollers paid extra for a car that had more performance, but didn't cost one extra penny to build.

This is just a new twist on the same old game car makers have been doing since they started making cars. They're going to do everything they can to get every penny from you that you are willing to pay.

Besides, it can only work on the electronics options. You can't subscribe to Merino leather or plum brown Individual wood.
Someone who understands what BMW is doing
 

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It's still perceived value that brings in $$$, and having to pay monthly for extras doesn't fit that theme. Change must have some advantage for both consumer and manufacturer to be sustainable. Charging extra to "update" software, as if that automatically provides improvement, is a fantasy many users of Linux have discovered is not worth it. Its better to KISS, which may have escaped many IT hotshots of late.
 
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