DETROIT – As vehicles become increasingly connected to the internet, car companies aim to rake in billions by having customers pay monthly or annual subscriptions to access certain features. Not content with the relatively low-margin business of building and selling cars, automakers are eager to pull down Silicon Valley-style profits. But unlike with Netflix, you won’t be able to use your ex-girlfriend’s uncle’s login in your new BMW.
For automakers, the advantage of this model is clear. Not only do they get a stream of recurring revenue for years after an initial purchase, they can hope to maintain a longer-term relationship with the customer and build brand loyalty, said Kristin Kolodge, vice president and head of auto benchmarking and mobility development at J.D. Power.
This approach can also allow carmakers to streamline manufacturing by building cars to more uniform specifications, Mark Wakefield, who runs the automotive and industrial practice at the consulting firm AlixPartners, told Insider. Down the line, owners can add on the features they want à la carte.
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