BMW

At it again: BMW has been an early adopter of recurring revenue business models borrowed from the tech industry.

BMW appears to have added to its ConnectedDrive store in Australia, offering activation of additional hardware, such as heated seats, on a subscription basis.

The Munich marque has been an early adopter of recurring revenue business models borrowed from the tech industry, first testing the concept in Australia back in 2020, offering High Beam Assist and Driver Recorder through the BMW ConnectedDrive Store app.

Prior to that, BMW controversially levied a $479 charge for three years of Apple CarPlay connectivity on some models sold in Australia but quickly pulled the pin following a public outcry.

BMW recently launched the latest iteration of its ConnectedDrive subscription model in South Korea, and it has now appeared on the Australian company site, but the new heated seats and steering wheel options were subsequently removed.

However, the seemingly accidental early activation of new offerings in its Australian online store suggests BMW plans to extend further into paid vehicle functionality, covering everything from heated seats to adaptive ‘M’ suspension and even faux exhaust soundtracks to add zing to spirited drives in its electric models. 

GoAuto understands a new or updated model launching in Australia before the end of this year will be the first to be offered with expanded subscription-based options.

For buyers, it could present a way to limbo-dance under the Luxury Car Tax threshold with a lower up-front vehicle purchase, followed by LCT-free subscription payments to the desired updates.

BMW confirmed the recently added, then removed options are not yet available for local consumption.

Subscriptions are monthly, annually or lifetime options, offering instant access once purchased, for those that may have been a bit conservative when ticking extras at the dealer.

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