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It started with car loans – breaking up a big purchase into smaller, more manageable payments over a longer period of time. Then, it became additional features – Bluetooth connections and customizable radio packages that enhance your driving experience.
Now, it’s speed – by paying more, your car can drive faster, and its engine performs better, according to a new package being rolled out at Mercedes dealer locations that sell EQE models. But what does that actually mean for drivers, BMW as a company, and the future of vehicle subscriptions?
What the Acceleration Increase Package Actually Does
The Acceleration Increase Package is a $1,200 per year subscription that makes acceleration quicker and improves torque for Mercedes-Benz’s EV models. For some, like the EQE 350 4Matic SUV, this can make a vehicle go 0-60mph in 5 seconds instead of 6.
That’s a pretty big improvement in acceleration and performance, and it’s one that anyone who enjoys fast cars would love! It’s also a great selling point for a luxury vehicle brand – you’re already visiting a Mercedes dealer for a good car, so why not get a package that makes it even better?
Here’s the problem: the hardware and technology are already in the vehicle from when you buy it. You just can’t use it until you pay an additional fee. BMW already made vehicles able to run this well – they just won’t sell them to you as-is.
If that sounds strange or unfair to you, you’re not alone. Subscription services for vehicles have already been getting negative feedback, and BMW’s latest package is just one of many.
BMW’s Other Packages and Subscription Attempts
BMW isn’t the first vehicle manufacturer to offer subscription services related to pre-installed features. Earlier in 2022, for example, GM announced a mandatory OnStar subscription for models like Buick and Cadillac.
This isn’t even the first package or feature BMW has provided for a monthly fee! Features like heated seats and steering wheels, as well as dash cam access, have either a one-time or monthly cost for BMW drivers. The company also had plans to charge vehicle owners a subscription fee for the use of Apple CarPlay, but ended up scrapping them.
So if this isn’t the first vehicle subscription service the company has tried to push onto consumers, the real question to ask is this: will it be the last?
The Future of Subscription Services and Laws for Vehicles
Earlier in 2022, New Jersey lawmakers began introducing legislation to ban vehicle subscription services just like the one BMW is offering. The bill would specifically prohibit automakers and dealers from charging ongoing fees for hardware that’s already present in vehicles at the time of purchase.
This means that not only would BMW be unable to offer the Acceleration Increase Package, but Mercedes dealers wouldn’t be able to tack on their own fees once vehicles are in their showrooms.
Is this the future of EVs that manufacturers intended? Or is it merely an unfortunate sign of the times? Hopefully, it’s the latter, and new laws and negative feedback can help carmakers make positive changes away from this trend.
When you’re looking to up your status without breaking the bank, it’s time to explore used luxury cars. You can find all of the high-end amenities, must-have equipment, and top-of-the-line gear. While newer cars may have a few more modern features, there is still plenty of sophistication to be found in a more cost-effective pre-owned option.Read More