Of course, the less charitable way to frame the entire idea is that BMW wants to make more money on its already expensive cars. Even one of its more affordable models will set you back about $36,000. It’s probably safe to say that’s a price at which most people don’t want to pay a monthly fee for features their car already includes.
It’s easy to see why a service like this would be appealing to an automaker. It will allow BMW to continue making money on cars that have entered the used market. Moreover, this isn’t the first time the company has tried something like this. In 2019, BMW introduced an $80 per year fee for people to use Apple CarPlay in its cars. The company later scrapped the subscription after BMW owners complained about it.
The plan also fits into a broader trend of automakers trying to move beyond one-time purchases. Companies like Cadillac and Porsche have experimented with subscriptions that allow people to swap cars on demand. But BMW’s latest take on the model seems unsavory in a way those services did not.