By on February 19, 2020

nissan

Nissan hopes a new service announced Tuesday will entice brand aficionados into paying a sum well above that of your average monthly loan payment for the privilege of swapping between vehicles. The pilot project targeting Houston drivers carries the name “Nissan Switch.”

Yes, as it faces trouble in the U.S. and abroad, the struggling company is following in the footsteps of other automakers and giving the subscription model a go.

Such services have a spotty track record. Look no further than Book by Cadillac for a lesson on that, though Nissan is at least starting small. It is a one-city pilot, after all.

For a sum of between $699 and $899 per month, Houston participants will gain access to the full gamut of Nissan vehicles — including the electric Leaf and the decidedly non-electric GT-R.

“Just like other popular subscription services for television and music, there is no long-term contractual commitment,” Nissan said in a statement. Potential customers have until August to make up their minds and sign up; the automaker claims users won’t be restricted in how often they swap between vehicles. Switch every day, if you want. A dealer concierge will deliver the car.

2019 Nissan Altima

“This program provides more choice, convenience, and flexibility. For those who want a sedan during the week and an SUV or sports car, like the GTR, on the weekends, Nissan Switch provides the solution,” said Andrew Tavi, vice president of business development for Nissan North America.

After a $495 activation fee, drivers can choose from two tiers of service. The lower monthly price gets you into an Altima, Rogue, Frontier, or Pathfinder, while the $899/month adds the Maxima, Murano, Armada, Leaf Plus, Titan, and 370Z. Notice the lack of Versa or Sentra (not that anyone paying such a sum would opt for either). You’ll have to pony up another $100 a day to gain access to the GT-R, and Nissan won’t let you have it for more than seven consecutive days.

Obviously, the intent of any subscription service — besides pulling in more money from individual customers — is to showcase its vehicles, potentially generating a sale. Whether this will work for Nissan, a brand most often associated with value-conscious shoppers, remains to be seen.

[Images: Nissan]

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27 Comments on “Nissan Switch: A New Vehicle Every Day, if That’s Your Thing...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Seven hundred bucks a month so you can switch your ride daily from a Sentra to an Altima?

    Thanks for my morning comedy, Nissan!

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @FreedMike: Except when you go for your Sentra all they’ll have on the lot is a Versa.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      FreedMike, it may be a hard sell for any individual but there may be business owners who will subscribe and let the business pay for it.

      The business my wife and her sisters own pay for a huge amount of our expenses including $1400/month for maintenance fees to Resort operators, all the charges put on the company-issued credit cards, cars and trucks for the business, etc etc etc.

      I know restaurant owners/proprietors who haven’t spend any money on their food costs because it is absorbed into the restaurant business. Buy at Costco and avoid sales tax.

      Just about anything within reason can be a business expense on the tax return as long as there is a receipt for it. Gotta have proof.

      I can see where sales people for the Pharma or other “traveling” sales persons would have their companies foot the bill for them.

    • 0 avatar

      It actually was the subject of my nightly dreams. Sometimes dreams come true. This is one of such cases.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Good luck and Godspeed Nissan, for there has been NO ONE on this planet who will pay $900 per month and be torn about driving the Murano or Altima that day.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Good luck and Godspeed Nissan, for there has been NO ONE on this planet who will pay $900 per month and be torn about driving the Murano or Altima that day.
    (This commenting system seems to be really bogged down and buggy today…)

  • avatar
    Carrera

    So after this, we will have a bunch of low mileage, slightly used Nissan with glass Jatco CVTs beaten to hell on pre-owned Nissan lots. Nice!

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      Next to the Altimas and Sentras with 30,000 rental car miles on them just dumped from Hertz, Alamo, and Enterprise. Yup, that will do wonders to the old resale values!

  • avatar
    cicero1

    This is exhibit 1 for Ghosn’s defense. Who thought this was a good idea?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The essential issue here is that Nissan’s lineup sucks. A subscription based service might make some sense, but who the f**k pays that kind of money to troll around in a different Altima every day?

  • avatar
    Lokki

    We’ve seen this “rental service” concept from several makers. I suppose it’s worth trying on the theory that if you throw enough stuff against the wall -something- will stick, but seriously, what is the ‘Take Rate’ going to be on this?

    How many people in Houston are really going to need or want a pickup, an SUV, a sedan, a performance car, an EV, and an economy commuter all in the same month?

    The price is no bargain either. You can lease some pretty nice wheels from a lot of (cough* higher status *cough) other makers and borrow or rent on the odd occasion that you need a different type of vehicle.

  • avatar
    whynot

    Care by Volvo starts at $700-750 a month.

    I’d rather have a Volvo on subscription than a Nissan.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    With how desperate Nissan is these days, I’m almost certain you could BUY any two of the Altima, Rogue, Frontier, or Pathfinder for $495 down and $699 a month.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    If it included the GT-R without the $100 a day and/or Nissan had a more modern lineup, I’d be more interested.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Honestly I’m surprised they’re still building that car. It’s older than the Challenger! The C6 Corvette was only a year old when that car came out, and now they’re building the C8 (for half the cost, I might add)!

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        Now that you mention it, It would almost be worth that money at FCA. Pacifica for that road trip, Rebel/Wrangler for the winter, Power Wagon for the nature trails, 392 Widebody for kicks and giggles. Trackhawk, SRT Durango, 300 for when Guido needs to get the message…

        Who pays the insurance?

        I think the money would be better spend on a Nintendo Switch than the Nissan version.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Who comes up with such ridiculous ideas? Who greenlights them? Who will get fired when this program loses it’s first ten million $s?

    If ever there was a sign that Nissan deserves to die, this is it (after decision to revamp Titan)!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    If they want an “authentic” used Nissan experience, they should make it a weekly payment plan. Instead of “Buy Here, Pay Here” it would be “Switch Here, Pay Here”, where customers would drive in every Friday or Saturday, with money order in hand. Also, put GPS trackers on the cars, and invest in a fleet of repo man-style wheel lift tow trucks.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    This is the future. There will be lots of subscription services to complement other ownership models. You can either start testing now, or get undercut but someone else (who might not even be a maker, just possibly a big dealer network). It’s just a question of how and when, not if. Those who are steaming mad over it: get over yourselves.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    If you drive a Nissan you might need this program especially if the CVT grenades on your way to work.

  • avatar

    Does that mean Nissan goes premium like Mazda? To tell the truth it would be cheaper to rent new Nissan every day ($30 at Enterprise).

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