Shoppers are no longer relegated to the limited choices of used, new, or leased when searching for a vehicle. Now, in addition to the traditional options, car-shoppers can begin a car subscription service, which, in many cases, allows them to procure a vehicle, insurance, roadside assistance, registration, and ongoing maintenance for a monthly, no-strings-attached rate. Since the introduction of the model, car subscription services have popped up EVERYWHERE. While there are some dedicated subscription-only programs like Fair and Cluno, many manufacturers and sales and rental groups have quickly adopted subscription service options from Porsche to Nissan, and Hertz to Enterprise.
While the subscription model certainly isn’t for everyone, it can be a great solution for those who want the security of maintenance guarantees or those who only use a vehicle for certain portions of the year. Another advantage is having the ability to drive a new model without absorbing the new-car depreciation of purchasing new. Plus, lots of services allow swapping for a new model regularly, a great perk for the car enthusiast. With that said, subscription services are pricey and, at the end of the day, you are paying for a vehicle you will never own. They may always have a hold in the market, but it seems unlikely to be a sustainable long-term solution.
For dealerships, subscription services mean an opportunity for improved preventative service and a guaranteed stream of maintenance and service customers. Specifically in the parts department, the regularity of subscription arrangement lends to proactive and predictive parts requests and ordering. If your manufacturer already has a subscription service, now is the time to iron out the kinks and create inventory management strategies that make the ongoing maintenance seamless. Focusing on the quality of service for subscriptions is so important because, more than likely, many of those subscribers will transition back to a lease or own option and you want to be their first choice when picking a dealership.
What do you think? How will subscriptions disrupt the market? Are they just too pricey to take hold? Leave a comment below!
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