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BMW dealers will be able to turn optional extras on and off on used cars at any time

Time 1 year ago

BMW dealers and their customers will be able to turn optional extras – like active cruise control and M sport suspension – on and off on used cars.

The German manufacturer has revealed that cars will come out of the factory with the hardware and software for many optional extras which customers will be able to configure at any time in the future.

Trials of things like active high beam assist and BMW’s driver recorder function can be tried out for periods of a month before customers commit to a one or three year service.


In a statement, the manufacturer said: ‘BMW sees the car as a digital platform.

‘More than two decades ago, BMW ConnectedDrive paved the way to more individual mobility. Since then, the company has been enabling its customers to benefit from the rapid technological development at any time with the continuously added digital services.

‘With Remote Software Upgrade, BMW has created the technical basis for keeping vehicles up to date, adding or booking additional vehicle functions, and installing them quickly and easily over the air.’

Effectively this means customers who buy a used car can reconfigure the optional extras that the first owner may have omitted.

Customers will be free to configure their cars whenever they want, but at first in the UK this will focus on high beam assist and Iconic Sounds Sport.

It also means that potentially dealers would be able to reset cars to a ‘factory settings’ and then charge for extras depending on a customer’s preference. While the latter isn’t confirmed, the move certainly gives the brand that functionality.

A spokesman for BMW UK said: ‘We do not foresee features being disabled at a later date.’

BMW dealers will, though, potentially lose out on the ability to up-sell extras to customers if much of these can be added to cars at a later date.

BMW added: ‘With the option of subsequently booking additional vehicle functions via the ConnectedDrive Store, BMW is strengthening selection and personalisation for customers, offering them maximum flexibility.

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‘BMW provides the hardware and software in the vehicle ex factory for the implementation so that it can be adapted later on as required and in accordance with customer preferences.

If, for example, vehicle functions were not yet requested at the time of purchase, they can be added later. A second owner thus can configure the used vehicle according to their own wishes.’

BMW also announced it will be offering free over-the-air updates to allow existing customers access to BMW digital key that allows users to open their cars with their iPhone, support for Android Auto as well as a host of other software tweaks.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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