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.
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
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.
Agree with GaryB. Subscription services required will be a show-stopper for any purchase I consider in the future.
Of course he had to backtrack after some went so far as to call him brain-dead.
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.
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.
Subscription service for heated seats??? Oh, Hell no!
Don’t I pay for these things when I buy the car? Paying twice is criminal.
Pay a subscription fee for running the remote start or heated seats????? ONLY A F^*^*^*^ing STUPID JACKASS WOULD PAY A SUBSCRIPTION FEE FOR SOMETHING THAT IS COMPLETELY INTERNAL TO THE VEHICLE !!!!! THIS JACKASS RUNNING FORD HAS TO GO ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve owned a couple of BMW’s and I love the car, but I will not consider another one as long as this scam continues. Same with any other OEM. We as the determining factor have to drive that home to them, but they’re counting on that we can’t look away from the shiny new thing. Be smarter than that people.
Will not buy any vehicle that has a subscription
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.
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
Build my bronco. Been two years. Still waiting.