Auto Service World
News   August 15, 2023   by Adam Malik

How are those in-car features subscriptions going?

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While there was an uproar over the fact that some in-car features would cost extra through a subscription fee, a recent study found that consumers are satisfied with what they pay for and are willing to continue subscribing.

After purchasing a car, automakers like General Motors and BMW are charging customers for in-car features, such as heated seats.

“Consumers are welcoming to the idea of subscriptions because it gives them exposure to features or technology that they may not have had in the past,” said Yanina Mills, senior technical research analyst at S&P Global Mobility.

Almost 8,000 consumers were surveyed. Out of a subset of about 4,500 who had experienced a free trial or an existing subscription on a model year 2016 vehicle or newer, 82 per cent said they would at least probably consider purchasing subscription-based services on a future new vehicle purchase.

S&P reported that in-vehicle exposure to the features is better than education to grow demand and foster satisfaction and retention. It noted that 45% of respondents had the service activated at the dealership, typically as part of a free trial period.

That improves the odds of growing subscribers. “It’s all a matter of exposure,” Mills said.

Once exposed, consumers are happy with their connected services subscriptions. The vast majority of previous-subscriber respondents said they were likely to renew, according to S&P.

Satisfaction ranked highly with 85% of respondents saying they would recommend the service to a friend. Among individual brands, Audi Connect and BMW ConnectedDrive consistently perform well, scoring high in most global markets for the third survey year in a row.

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1 Comment » for How are those in-car features subscriptions going?
  1. Mike says:

    I think that there’s a big difference between having a subscription for a service such as OnStar or Audi Connect and paying to use an option or equipment that is already installed in the car, like heated seats or extra engine power.

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