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Car and Driver: Half Off: Chevrolet Chops Price of 4G LTE Data Subscriptions

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Chevrolet 4G LTE

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Chevrolet has made much of the 4G LTE connection in its vehicles—the feature, introduced two years ago, has since spread across its entire lineup. Now Chevy is making it cheaper for motorists to use those services. Brand executives said Wednesday they’re cutting the price of 4G LTE data plans in half.

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Although the company won’t say how many subscribers are paying for the service, Sandor Piszar, Chevy’s truck marketing director, says the brand is able to reduce rates because the technology is growing popularity and gaining more customers.

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Under the new pricing, a 1-gigabyte data plan will now cost $10 per month. Previously, customers paid $20 per month. An 8-GB plan that previously cost $80 is now $40. Chevy also introduced a new 4-gigabyte-per-month tier, previously not offered, for $20.

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For comparison’s sake, Audi offers five gigabytes of data on a six-month plan for $99. Beyond that, it can be hard to make apples-to-apples comparisons because many automakers lump connected features into the initial purchase price of a vehicle and offer free-trial periods of various lengths rather than making customers manage a monthly subscription. Many offer models that contain 4G LTE connections for specific remote features, but that do not offer the same WiFi hotspot capability as Chevy.

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The number of customers industry-wide who are paying for a-la-carte data subscriptions in their cars is unknown, but prospective buyers increasingly say they’re willing to spend considerable sums of money to stay connected in their cars. In an Accenture survey conducted in April, 71 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to pay up to an additional 10 percent of a new car’s price to ensure they get the in-car technology they want. Car shoppers are showing interest in paying for those services both up front and with monthly subscription plans.

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“Consumer interest in spending more on desired in-car functionality and services … reinforces Accenture’s belief that in-car technologies—and the concept of the connected vehicle itself—are defining the automotive industry and transforming the way consumers view the automobile,” said Axel Schmidt, managing director of Accenture’s automotive practice. “We also believe that the willingness of consumers to pay for in-car services separately from a new vehicle’s purchase price will provide the industry with new sources of revenue.”

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