Your new car’s options now come with a monthly fee

The choices for car buyers are multiplying: It’s no longer just silver or red, sedan or SUV, gas or electric.

Now buyers must also decide which connected services they want to add.
Why it matters: Automakers are embracing a new business model that requires paid subscriptions to unlock everything from entertainment options to enhanced navigation and hands-free driving…

Driving the news: Ford recently announced new options for accessing its top-rated BlueCruise hands-free highway driving technology…

Context: Tesla just chopped $3,000 off the price of its “full self-driving” beta software (which, despite its name, still requires users to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times”). It’s now $12,000 upfront or $199 a month…

State of play: Car buyers are open to subscription add-ons — if they get to try the services first, according to a recent S&P Global Mobility survey…

The big picture: Automakers savor the prospect of collecting recurring revenue from car owners by transforming their vehicles into connected tech platforms.