BMW Will Offer Four Years of Free Telematics Service on U.S. Models
WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ – BMW says it will provide four years of connection to its BMW Assist emergency service on all vehicles sold in North America beginning with 2007 models, according to Automotive News. The decision potentially represents about $80 million annually in retail subscription payments, based on BMW sales in 2005 of more than 337,000 vehicles in North America.Buyers have received 12 months of the service for free as part of their BMW purchase, which then costs buyers $240 a year after the 12 months if they decide to keep the service. An optional plan that allows personal connection to concierge services will remain at $120-a-year additional subscription for drivers. A BMW official said the decision was made to bolster the luxury brand’s image, the report said.BMW Assist uses an embedded, car-dedicated cellular phone connection to relay emergency or diagnostic information to call centers run by ATX Group Inc., of Irving, Tex. If airbags deploy, the call center gets a signal and notifies emergency officials by giving them the location of the vehicle, number of occupants, the severity of the impact, and whether seat belts were used.BMW Assist also transmits maintenance data for dealership use and can be used for driver services, including tracking a stolen vehicle or offering roadside assistance.