Stellantis Offering Subscriptions – Kinda

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Many automakers have dabbled with subscription services in which customers front however many hundreds of dollars a month for the ability to swap into a fresh vehicle so many times per year. Success has been limited, with most OEMs quickly withdrawing their tentative toe from the pool for a myriad of reasons.

Now, Stellantis is jumping into the game. Sort of.

It’s all down to a corner of the company called Free2Move, a spellcheck vexing subsidiary of Stellantis that touts itself as a “global mobility hub” intending to fulfill the needs of travelers through car-sharing or short/long-term rentals. The outfit’s website defaults to France, so you can guess which part of Stellantis is driving the bus on this particular endeavor.

Rumblings surfaced earlier this year that this service planned to expand into the States in 2023, starting with car-sharing and subscription services in some markets and what could be simply described as plain old rentals in others. According to The Detroit News, a dealer group based in southeast Michigan is the first to jump on board, planning to offer rental/subscription arrangements for varying timeframes.

It seems the Szott Auto Group will leverage their trio of Stellantis stores to build a fleet of Wranglers and Ram 1500 pickups (plus other unnamed models) to have on offer by this summer. Apparently, the Free2Move business will be set up as a franchise in this instance, further paralleling itself with a rental company. It isn’t uncommon for dealers to sign on with such an entity for any number of reasons. Another example of this arrangement is Ford dealers taking on a franchised Quick Lane service center, either in-house or at an off-site location, which is a tire and lube chain owned by the Blue Oval.

Back in Michigan, the GM of those three Szott dealers says subscriptions will start in the “low $500s” per month, a sum which apparently includes maintenance and insurance. Opting to swap out of a vehicle frequently pushes that price northward. Talking heads at the dealer believe Free2Move is a way to get customers in the door, perhaps eventually buying or leasing a vehicle from one of their stores. 

Will it work? We’ll see. The landscape is littered with abandoned projects of this type, though there is an argument to be made that external forces could make this the right time to try again. After all, average transaction prices are through the roof, interest rates have taken off, and the typical monthly payment on a new car these days is far in excess of the “low $500s” being promised by the Szott group.

[Image: Stellantis]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

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3 of 5 comments
  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Feb 27, 2023

    $500 - 600 month with insurance and maintenance included is tempting. What's the fine print say?

    • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on Feb 28, 2023

      Yeah if I could drive a ram for 500 a month and not pay insurance maintenance etc, that seems like a good deal.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Feb 28, 2023

    No, because for the near term $500/mo (oof!) still nets either a decent lease or regular car payment. The only advantages I can see for such a thing would be:

    1. Unlike a lease, cancel within a reasonable timeframe (maybe?).
    2. Equal or less in cost than a traditional lease plus sourcing my own insurance.
    3. Ability to switch models near on demand.

    Every lease has a warranty and a period of prepaid or comp'd maintenance. So if its going to run much more than $500 to get #3, how this is not DOA I don't know. I'll add whatever insurance they provide is either going to be terrible coverage or they are going to have to be very careful who is allowed in the program (unless the actual cost varies between customers in the fine print to account for insurance variances).

  • Tassos Most people here who think it is a good idea have NO idea how much such a conversion costs. Hint: MORE than buying an entire new car.
  • Zipper69 Current radio ads blare "your local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer" and the facias read the same. Is the honeymoon with FIAT over now the 500 and big 500 have stopped selling?
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh hmmm get rid of the garbage engine in my chevy, and the garbage under class action lawsuit transmission? sounds good to me
  • ToolGuy Personally I have no idea what anyone in this video is talking about, perhaps someone can explain it to me.
  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):