Your new car is 100% yours

10 years ago, you purchased a car and 100% of the car was yours. This is not true anymore.

You do not own the software of your car, you only have the usufruct.

Is the car owner aware of this?

Platform “enshitification” has consequences on digital platforms, but will extend to physical world when software invade physical world. Mobiles are already under these rules, cars are one of the next physical product that is transitioning from product to gizmo and will end as “spime”.

what is a “spime”? A spime is a concept described in the book Shaping Things, written by Bruce Sterling.

What are the car manufacturers choices?

I see 2 main choices, but first let’s start with the map.

  • Right now the cars have an area of operations on hardware, finance, branding and software.
  • Software is increasing its presence in the industry.
  • There is the industry of mobility, that has grown up a lot during the last 10 years. It’s a crowded space and very competitive.
  • I’m not taking into account the capital flows, but in certain places the increase of rented cars is increasing a lot in comparison to the pure sales of cars.

Option #1 = Continue selling cars

  1. Competition at price: lower differentiation.
  2. Be far from the consumer.
  3. Lack of view on consumer trends
  4. Focus just on hardware.

Option #2 = Car as a Service

  1. Take advantage of brand differentiation.
  2. Be close to the consumer.
  3. Build a software platform
  4. Own data:
    • Ability to identify new potential sources of revenue.
    • Have the ability to listen the consumer’s trends as they have data to do it and adapt to these scenarios.
    • Resell data (insurance companies).
    • Increase the Intellectual property of the company.
  5. Provide support to the user in new areas.

Are there examples of companies doing something on it?

  1. Mercedes locks faster acceleration behind a $1,200 annual paywall.
  2. BMW now has subscriptions for in-car features. for instance, Hot seat = 18%

Table from the BMW’s article

FeatureCompatibility1-Month Price1-Year Price3-Year PriceOne-Time Price
Remote Engine StartMY2019 and newer vehicles with automatic transmission and 4 or 6 cylinder ICE$10.00$105.00$250.00 $330.00
Drive RecorderVehicles equipped with BMW Live Cockpit Professional and Parking Assistant Plus$39.00$99.00$149.00
Traffic CameraMY2020 and newer vehicles equipped with BMW Live Cockpit Professional$25
Driving Assistant Plus with Stop & GoCertain MY2022 and newer iX (depending on software level)$20.00$210.00$580.00$950.00
Parking Assistant ProfessionalCertain MY2022 and newer iX, MY2023 X7 and 7 Series equipped with Parking Assistant Plus$5.00$50.00$130.00$220.00

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