By Jon LeSage, contributing editor, Dealer Digest Daily
• Audi and T-Mobile are rolling out their Audi Connect plan that gives drivers total WiFi access in their cars – to make their car the ultimate mobility device.
• The plan is being publicized as costing $15 a month through a 30-month contract with a $450 upfront payment. Otherwise they would be paying $30 a month for a month-to-month plan. There’s also a six-month free trial program.
• It’s part of Audi’s plan of putting one million connected Audi cars on the road worldwide by 2015 – and to enter the competition with other automakers now offering their own branded connected car systems. “T-Mobile-powered Audi connect service delivers unmatched connectivity to our customers at a rate that will turn their Audi into the ultimate mobile device,” said Anupam Malhotra, senior manager of connected vehicle at Audi of America
• Audi has two commercials promoting the new service – in one, a concerned mother’s questions are all answered by the daughter using Connect’s in-dash tool – weather condition, having enough gas, where she’ll eat dinner. In the second commercial, a woman frantically scrambles to take care of last-minute birthday festivities for her boyfriend. She does pull over before using Connect, though.
• It will be interesting to see how well this does – drivers are getting many of their wireless needs met with what they already have in their car and on their smart phone.
• Getting owners to pay more for the monthly service is very tricky. SiriusXM is working with the major automakers through three-month free trial programs and then selling programs that come out to about $15 a month but are sold through multi-month flat rate programs. How’s that going for SiriusXM?
• Automakers see these mobility platform devices as a solution for delivering the infotainment, connected resources being demanded while also dealing with distracted driving. But will these drivers actually pull over to use Audi Connect?
Click here to read more about Audi Connect, including two commercials that are promoting the new service…