- Volvo criticizes COO for blocking features under subscriptions.
- BMW, Tesla and Toyota have adopted the subscription model in Australia.
- Subscriptions ensure profit in addition to vehicle purchase.
Volvo has promised not to adopt subscriptions to unlock features through software updates, despite a growing list of other car brands aiming to ensure profits beyond buying a vehicle.
Bjorn N Wall, deputy CEO and chief operating officer of Volvo Cars, said that if you want to charge for software updates, it should be a step change to benefit consumers. Bloomberg.
“We will not ask people who bought a car for 1 million kroner. [AU$140,000] Another 10 kroner to pay [AU$1.40] To get extra heat in the seat.”
Subscription-based features mean the vehicle already has the hardware capabilities, but owners must pay a regular fee to activate them through an over-the-air software update.
BMW’s latest entry-level X1 small SUV recently introduced ‘Features on Demand’ in Australia, where heated front seats and a heated steering wheel can be unlocked by paying a monthly or annual subscription, but life It can be purchased directly for full use.
For example, heated seats on the base X1 sDrive18i cost $29 per month, $289 per year, $419 every three years, or $589.
Meanwhile, Tesla also requires a $9.99-a-month Premium Connectivity subscription to unlock more Internet-related features like satellite-view maps with live traffic visual aids, video and music streaming, and remote mobile app live camera monitoring.
Similarly, Toyota launched two Connected Services subscription plans on the Corolla Cross small SUV priced at $9.95 and $12.50 per month to get additional functions like remote engine start from a mobile app, connected navigation, and a built-in voice assistant.
Mercedes-Benz has also introduced a subscription-based performance software upgrade for its EQE and EQS electric sedans in the US to reduce acceleration times by up to a second.
however, Top Gear Netherlands reports that it faces legal issues in Europe, although one-off payments like the Polestar 2’s performance upgrade aren’t a problem.
Hyundai has also proposed adopting a subscription model for “performance and functionality” upgrades, while Volkswagen’s software division said autonomous driving could be enabled on-demand or through subscription payments. .
Volvo cars run Google’s Android automotive infotainment operating system and are capable of over-the-air updates.
The Swedish automaker has pledged to offer only all-electric models in Australia by 2026, with the flagship EX90 large SUV leading the transition in 2024.