“Instagram… is like doing a photo shoot for no money, which is cool.” — Goapele Mohlabane
The city of Munich, Germany, is famous for two things: the annual Oktoberfest party (which is really in September) and as the headquarters of carmaker BMW. It also has large and leafy parks (with clothing-optional areas), views of the Alps, a 38-hour work week, seven huge breweries, and lots of museums and cafes, and it’s a hub of high-tech electronics companies. Okay, make that eight things.
I lived in Munich for a couple of years. Loved it. My kids grew up speaking German with a Bavarian accent. I sometimes got to use my boss’s BMW company car because, hey, Munich. The city reminds me of Austin, Texas. It’s the capital of the country’s southernmost state; like Texas, Bavaria used to be its own country; it supports a lot of high-tech jobs; and the people there have funny accents. Other Germans make fun of Münchners for being unintelligible backwoods hicks in Lederhosen and dirndls.
Which doesn’t bother the engineers at BMW, who design some fairly advanced electronics to go with their cars. Not surprising, with all the computer companies around. So, like beer and pretzels, these two things were destined to wind up together. But maybe not in this way. Welcome to the world of subscription-based cars.
Last week, BMW announced that it would soon start offering pay-as-you-go features in some of its cars. This isn’t the usual free trial of SiriusXM satellite radio. No, BMW is