The New Luxury Bandwagon: Mercedes-Benz Launches Subscription Service

the new luxury bandwagon mercedes benz launches subscription service

Mercedes-Benz has announced it will be testing a new vehicle subscription service for customers in the United States this summer. The practice is becoming increasingly popular with automakers, especially luxury brands. General Motors expanded it’s Book by Cadillac service late last year, Porsche has Passport, and Ford has its Canvas program. Even BMW offered a public aside during the 2018 Detroit Auto Show that expressed its intentions to test the subscription model for itself.

The recipe is simple. A customer pays a flat monthly rate and an automaker opens up access to its fleet. For Mercedes, what you can actually drive depends on how much you spend though. The brand says it’s system will be tiered, with higher-end vehicles being available at a more princely premium. If you want AMG models or access to the S-Class, you’ll have to pay more than someone who is happy bouncing between the GLA and CLA.

Like all subscription services, mileage is unlimited and insurance is included. Maintenance and roadside assistance are also included as part of the package. Mercedes also noted that a concierge staff will be on hand to ensure vehicle deliveries are “consistent with the details and preferences in the customer’s profile.” But all the details have yet to be worked out.

Presumably, the service will function similarly to Book by Cadillac — which allows customers to schedule appointments where someone can hand over a new car in person at a location of their choosing. Members of the program are also allowed to swap vehicles up to 18 times annually. However, Cadillac instituted a driving cap of 2,000 miles per month late last year.

Mercedes doesn’t currently have a limit placed upon the odometer but made no mention of how many times customers will be able to exchange models. There has also been no talk of money. Cadillac’s Book service starts at $1,500 per month and Porsche Passport uses a tiered system that maxes out at $3,000 per month. Depending on how Mercedes breaks up its fleet, its own leveled system could easily span the $1,700-$3,000 pricing gamut.

Details are set to emerge as the program launch date draws nearer. What we know for sure is that the company is calling its service the Mercedes-Benz Collection and it drops in June for the good people of Nashville, TN, and Philadelphia, PA. Interestingly, BMW also mentioned it would be launching its subscription program in Nashville this year. It looks like the two rivals will not only be able to test their new services on the public but also against each other.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
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