Car features on subscription - Mercedes this time

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rgrigsby
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Car features on subscription - Mercedes this time

Just stumbled across this, it seems Mercedes are going to charge an annual $1,200 fee to unlock performance of the EQE and EQS models.

Mercedes performance boost subscription

I'm sure this has come up before, we're back to the argument that you have already bought the car with that performance and this is just a software lock.

Harry Flatters
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Pretty outrageous really. Demanding a recurring revenue stream for doing absolutely nothing at all! You might just agree to a one-off fee for the power increase (bit like having your car remapped), but having to pay, year on year!! Even if I could afford to buy one of their EVs, which I can't - I wouldn't, on principle.

Next thing we'll see, they'll want an annual sub just to make the thing go at all!

ptr_drvr
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"We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices"

That's a quote from an article talking about the Amazon Alexa, but is equally applicable to every company selling a product on subscription these days.

rgrigsby
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#2 my thoughts exactly, I know Polestar charge a one off fee to upgrade performance but an annual subscription seems quite cheeky.

Dan R
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I seem to remember reading something recently about other manufacturers such as BMW charging a subscription to unlock features on their new cars? 

I must say it does seem a natural evolution of consumer behaviour, likely driven by commercial influence and the need to extract ever more profit.   Obviously this will be sold as offering greater flexibility and choice for new and used car consumers blah blah .....

R500sv

'Bravery is being the only one who knows you are scared' 

JonL
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I assume it's only a matter of time before third party companies offer to unlock these features at a lower cost (at the risk of invalidating any warranty or future assistance from the OEM). 

ScottR400D
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#6 That already happens and will get more and more prevalent. The companies that do it clearly warn that it's at your own risk because, presumably, it's a breach of a contract you've entered into. 
 
I can understand it for some things, like live traffic or things that carry a running cost for the manufacturer but when the lines of BMW want to charge a subscription for heated seats, auto dip etc. 

Then again, as long as they offer a one off payment option at a reasonable price then it's just buyer beware, I guess. But will they? 

L7C
StevehS3
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It is the recurring revenue model. Very clever. Making a profit on Day 1 when the product (car) is sold is no longer enough. Each product needs to generate a recurring revenue and ongoing profit stream in future years. Software as a Service (SaS)  and paying for an annual licence fee instead of buying a lifetime licence were the earliest adopters that I can remember. 

Paul D
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My previous car - a 2016 Jaguar - was starting down this path. They wanted £36 a year for the remote app to work. I only used it to turn on the heated seats from indoors on half a dozen cold mornings so I canceled that after a year.

More annoyingly was the online-only service history which my trusted independent couldn't access, only Jaguar dealers. I sold it and promised myself to never have another Jaguar, but I guess all manufacturers will all be the same eventually, Caterham perhaps included when their EV arrives.

Jonathan Kay
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"More annoyingly was the online-only service history which my trusted independent couldn't access, only Jaguar dealers. I sold it and promised myself to never have another Jaguar, but I guess all manufacturers will all be the same eventually, Caterham perhaps included when their EV arrives."

The European Commission has been trying very hard to prevent this tying of servicing to initial sales (main dealers). It's made some progress on availability of parts and access to information required on servicing: "Block Exemption Regulation".

Jonathan

rkeywood
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What happens after next May when the MVBER expires is here but, from a scan read, only looks like a recommendation to tidy up the current provisions so I'm guessing subscriptions and upgrade charges are here to stay unless some there's some other regulation around.

The main dealer I had a discussion with some years ago was of the opinion that the access / information the manufacturer was required to give was only that necessary for maintenance, repairs and replacements to keep the car in the same spec as it left the factory. I wanted to change the spec of my car - effectively downgrading it to get rid of some silly (read 'dangerous Italian') automatic features - but was told I couldn't use a specialist to avoid the exorbitant cost the dealer wanted. After letting him have the servicing and repairs for remainder of the warranty I took it to specialist. I then found out that the main dealer had been using that specialist for the work on my car as they no longer had trained staff for the model and it was easier to outsource work!! Needless to say things got sorted very easily after that.