Hyundai is considering having some features behind a paywall in a bid to stay connected with customers after selling them a car.

    The new European Hyundai Connected Mobility division this week announced it would be combining the company’s Mocean car subscription and Bluelink services ventures to facilitate the introduction of on-demand features.

    Head of Hyundai Connected Mobility Marcus Welz told Autocar the company was “looking at feature-on-demand as an option, in order to add more personalisation in the car”.

    “What you have often seen in the industry is an old use case, for example heated seats. This was brought to the customer using new technology such as software updates,” he said.

    “However, I think the benefit of feature-on-demand is exactly the opposite: to bring new features into older cars.”

    Mr Welz didn’t specify what these features could be, but suggested they could involve upgrading existing software and components for greater performance.

    Many carmakers are looking to increase the take-up of subscription services, which presents another potentially significant source of revenue.

    “For years we worried about how we were going to sell more cars,” Mr Welz told Autocar.

    “Today we worry about ‘what if all we do is sell cars?’.”

    Hyundai’s move comes after BMW backed down on its push to make owners ‘subscribe’ for certain features already fitted to their cars, such as heated seats, though it still allows owners to pay monthly for features like remote start.

    The Volkswagen Group has previously pitched a similar concept for on-demand safety features.

    MORE: Everything Hyundai

    Max Davies

    Max Davies is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Max studied journalism at La Trobe University and stepped into the automotive world after graduating in late 2023. He grew up in regional Victoria, and with a passion for everything motorsport is a fan of Fernando Alonso.

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