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Ford CEO Jim Farley Says Company Won’t Charge For Certain Services

As more and more automakers embrace the idea of charging subscriptions for certain services, opinions among consumers remain fairly fixed on that particular topic. A recent study found that the vast majority of consumers aren’t willing to pay an annual or monthly subscription fee for most features on their next new vehicle, and instead expect those features and services to be included in the vehicle’s sales price, though around one quarter of those surveyed indicated that they would be willing to pay for certain features. However, while some automakers seem content to charge for things like heated seats and remote start, that won’t necessarily be the case with Ford, according to CEO Jim Farley.

“By the way, we can make a lot of people’s lives better. IOT connection, precondition your house, have the garage open without pushing a button and all those magical things that should happen in your car that don’t happen today are going to make people’s lives better,” Farley said while speaking at the recent 2022 Alliance Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference. “But I don’t think most of that is chargeable. I think what we’re seeing is very specific things are chargeable and you better have a very integrated, directed software, customer-facing software plus physical experience that will differentiate you in a long-lasting way or else it will be a commodity.”

These comments come a few months after Jim Farley criticized BMW’s decision to charge owners a heated seat subscription fee, instead noting that Ford was more looking at offering customized software solutions a la carte, rather than simply charging customers for things like heated seats or even remote start, as other automakers have considered.

Regardless, Ford does plan to rake in a “massive” amount of revenue from subscription-based services in the near future, according to Farley, much of which will come from its Ford Pro commercial business and driver-assist features like BlueCruise.

We’ll have more on Ford’s connected vehicle services soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. GaryB

    Can you imagine if every 15 miles the car would make you pull over and listen/ watch an ad on the infotainment screen? Feels like that’s the hell where we are heading towards. Charging subscription fees for features already built in to the vehicle is insanely greedy. I won’t be buying any vehicles that are holding features behind a monthly paywall

    Reply
    1. The Gentle Grizzly

      Before Bluetooth became something standard on virtually every mobile handset, Verizon charged a fee for the use of Bluetooth. Pay the fee or they would block the ability to use it.

      Car companies charging subscriptions to use things like the heated seats will find out that at least one or two competitors won’t. The subscription services will die.

      For the record: I can see where they’d charge for remote starting from a phone app, as data and servers are involved. But, for heated seats?!? Leave those extortionate charges to the BMWs and Mercedeses of the world.

      Reply
    2. The Gentle Grizzly

      The “music” on hold has become a monster. The music is generally hideous. Then, in the case of Walgreens, they interrupt every 15 to 20 seconds to apologize for the wait, over and over.

      The purpose is to get you to hang up.

      Reply
  2. Greg

    Agree with GaryB. Subscription services required will be a show-stopper for any purchase I consider in the future.

    Reply
  3. Bob Dobson

    Farley forgets his company has the worst multimedia software in the industry. SYNC2, SYNC3, SYNC4 are poorly executed software platforms and now they sold their souls to the devil called Google. Ford starts to charge for things we get free now and customers will go to the competition. Ford doesn’t have the expertise to develop good mobile software, I highly doubt they can successfully implement future platforms.

    Reply
  4. Greg

    Don’t I pay for these things when I buy the car? Paying twice is criminal.

    Reply
  5. Joe Marshall

    Will not buy any vehicle that has a subscription

    Reply
  6. Vik Sharma

    Maybe instead of all the talk, he needs to focus on execution. Can’t make quality car “all Mach-e sales on hold”, which can compete. Legacy auto manufacturers just have their heads buried in sand.

    Reply
  7. Dean Smith

    You’re a smart, savvy guy. You a car guy? I’m a retired Lincoln service mgr, 42 years at the same store. Haven’t kept up like you have. Too busy with grand kids, putting headers on my Mustang GT, etc. Really appreciated your comments. Learned a lot.

    Reply
  8. Eric

    Oh let the road rage just begin if I have to start listening to ads through my car infotainment system. How much advertisements can one take. Oh I miss the day when I could watch a DIY video or any other video for that matter on YouTube and not have to deal with ads. Or back when I didn’t have to pay extra not to see ads. Those were the good ol’ days. Haha

    Reply
  9. D.M.

    Build my bronco. Been two years. Still waiting.

    Reply

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