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.
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