Consumers Aren’t Buying Automaker Plans To Make Everything A Subscription

from the not-everything-has-to-be-a-subscription dept

For numerous years, automakers have been keen to boost consistent monthly income by pushing users subscription services. The problem: whether it’s a specific in-car 5G wireless broadband connection (made kind of irrelevant by the fact everyone has a tetherable smartphone), or subscriptions for app-based services like remote starting: consumers aren’t really interested.

A new survey from AutoPacific (via Ars Technica) found that consumers generally couldn’t be any less interested in such offerings. For example just 30 percent of those eager to buy a new car said they were interested in paying for their car’s Internet access. And 23 percent said they’d be interested in being able to remotely control some vehicle functions via an app for $10 per month.

The results aren’t too surprising. A lot of these features involve automakers trying to pretend that smartphones don’t exist (forcing users to pay extra for services already available via the supercomputer in their pocket). Infotainment GUIs have also never been automakers’ strong suit, and often the quality of such features leaves a lot to be desired.

It’s interesting that there’s a slight bump in interest by owners of EVs, but primarily because they’re often bored while waiting for the car to charge. But even then, 63 percent of EV owners still didn’t want to pay their carmaker a subscription for an additional, car-specific 5G connection.

It’s worth noting that the study doesn’t even focus on some of the auto industry’s new, even more controversial efforts to boost revenues via subscription services, such as BMW’s unyielding quest to make things like heated seats a subscription service. Here too, these efforts involve taking technology already in vehicles you’ve paid for — and forcing you to pay extra just to enable them.

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