BMW has offered some options as subscriptions in certain markets for a few months now.
Public backlash has pushed the company to reverse this decision.
BMW says software-based technologies work better as subscriptions.
BMW has decided to back up on its much-criticized decision to make options such as heated seats available through subscriptions.
The company announced this new business model late last year, after which drivers in selected markets such as South Korea had to pay a recurring fee to use their heated seats.
A number of payment plans were offered by BMW in order to provide more flexibility, such as monthly, annual, or triennial options.
Apparently, customers were left cold by this approach and demanded a return to traditional options which can be bought at purchase for the life of the vehicle.
According to Pieter Nota, one of the automaker’s board members for sales and marketing, this is because consumers feel like they are paying twice for some features, which isn’t true, he says.
This impression is particularly present in the case of equipment for which hardware is already installed in the vehicle, such as heating elements for the seats and the steering wheel.
Instead, BMW will now focus its subscription approach on features that are heavily software-dependant, such as driver assistance and connectivity technologies.
This is because consumers are used to paying for software in this way for their computer or phone, making public acceptance easier.
This means that while the list of features that will require a subscription in BMW vehicles is getting shorter, it won’t completely disappear anytime soon.