Would you pay $18 a month to use the heated seats that are already installed in your car?
BMW owners in South Korea are ringing an alarming bell for automobile owners across the world. Fortune has reported that BMW has jumped in the world which Fortnite opened, the world of microtransactions.
Just like your kid buying skins for their favourite character, BMW owners will now also be able to purchase their very own, “Add-Ons”.
BMW is leading the way in the automotive industry by charging customers for access to heated seats, heated steering wheels or even driver safety systems.
For $18 a month customers will have access to use their heated seats as well as driver safety systems. Unlike years past, where buying accessories meant long waits at the dealership.
Your vehicle is already equipped with the hardware, the monthly subscription only allows you the use of the systems that you already own.
Imagine buying an oven, but only being able to use one burner unless you pay a subscription for the other three. Yes, it is this bad.
The Verge stated that representatives at BMW could not exactly pinpoint the start date of when the subscription service launched or in which countries it was released. BMW is not the only manufacturer that is looking to launch pay-per-feature services like this. Volkswagen has been talking about it and I am sure they are waiting to see what happens with BMW’s customer experiment.
The automotive industry has been trying to figure out how to increase their companies’ valuations, all while watching tech giants like Apple surpass the $3 trillion in market cap.
While I can imagine micro transactions was not the first idea thrown into the hat, it may really be one of the worst.
Imagine paying a monthly subscription just to use the hardware that you already own.
The largest question at play here is the future of the automotive industry as a whole. While we make a push into automotive electrification and autonomous vehicles.
What is it going to look like to own a car in the future?
Will we even own a car? Or will we rent it month to month. I am sure manufacturers would love this, the profit that the company would stand to make is large.
We need to be aware of what is going on in the automotive industry and push back on these companies to ensure they know that we are not pleased. After all, is it really worth increasing shareholder value while reducing your very own customers satisfaction?
I personally. do not think so.