BMW Releases Statement on Feature-on-Demand Option Subscriptions

BMW caught all of the internet flak with a recent announcement about its Functions on Demand system, in which customers can choose to pay monthly subscriptions for certain options. The initial story that launched the Global Enthusiast Stack was that of BMW’s heated seat subscription in Korea. Naturally, this led fans, customers, and enthusiasts to wonder if such a program would come to America, and more importantly, if it should. However, a spokesperson for BMW USA released a statement today following the recent news.

As cynical as it may seem to offer subscription services for parts already in the car, BMW argues that this service offers more flexibility to customers. Some features, such as remote engine start and driving recorder, are features that customers may want to test out for a month before purchasing in full. In addition, BMW will still offer the possibility to purchase options permanently, as usual.

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Statement from BMW of North America

As buyers of premium vehicles, BMW customers in the United States demand a high level of equipment in their vehicles. Options like heated seats are ordered on more than 90% of BMWs sold in the United States. BMW of North America does not expect factory option purchase levels to change significantly in the future. BMW Features on Demand, on the other hand, is designed to deliver premium functionality through software downloads that use data and sensors from the factory optional hardware already built into BMW vehicles.

For example, certain BMW models equipped with certain factory-specific options may currently add the first two Functions on Demand features available in the United States, namely an in-dash camera feature called BMW Drive Recorder and the BMW Remote Engine Start feature, via software download. in a customer’s vehicle. The BMW Drive Recorder function uses cameras required by advanced driver assistance systems for dash cam functionality.

This gives customers the ability to add new software features and a degree of flexibility in that they can test and then decide whether or not to purchase a vehicle feature that was not initially available at the time of purchase. initial of the vehicle.

With BMW Functions on Demand, customers will be able to explore new software functionality at short notice by purchasing a trial or purchasing that functionality for a period of time or for the life of the vehicle. It is important to note that BMW Functions on Demand is designed primarily as a digital aftermarket solution and will not affect any options that were ordered at the time of vehicle purchase. For example, if a vehicle is initially ordered with heated seats, this option will not disappear and will not be subject to a monthly fee.

Please note that BMW Functions on Demand and the ability to test or purchase certain options after point of purchase is part of an overall aftermarket strategy that BMW has introduced in various markets around the world, including on a small scale in the United States. the features available in this digital aftermarket vary from market to market. Customers can browse the features available in their local ConnectedDrive store online.

As it stands, there really isn’t a problem with this optional subscription service. BMW will adapt the options to the different markets and there will be a permanent purchase option. After all, BMW is not the only brand to offer such services. However, customers truly fear a microtransaction hellish future, where all options are hidden behind subscription paywalls and prices spin out of control. Nothing like this has happened yet. So as long as BMW keeps prices normal and doesn’t get rid of the permanent call options, you’ll be fine.