Rivian, the Michigan-based startup that aims to get electric pickups and SUVs into the hands of consumers starting late next year, may choose a controversial avenue to ownership.
The automaker’s CEO, RJ Scaringe, claims the automaker is seriously thinking about offering a subscription service when it begins rolling out vehicles from its Normal, Illinois assembly plant in 2020. Without a dealer network, Rivian’s plan was always to send vehicles directly to buyers, no doubt earning it the ire of dealer groups country-wide.
General Motors is readying another automotive subscription service after canceling “Book by Cadillac,” which was deemed too costly to keep operational, several months ago. However, whether that was due entirely to its own failures or related to the fact that the company is aggressively hunting for capital through its restructuring program is up for debate.
There were grumblings that the program’s complete lack of dealer involvement was a good way for Cadillac maximize profits (without sharing them). But, with it failing, it was also an excellent way to incur unnecessary costs. As a result, the brand intends to make its expansive dealer network an integral part of the fast-approaching “Book 2.o.”
Book, also known as “BOOK by Cadillac,” is General Motors’ entry in the burgeoning luxury car subscription market, though the fledgling service’s first cities — New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas — will soon have to get used to going without.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, GM’s pulling the plug on Book, at least for the time being. Get those Cadillacs back to where you got ’em.
No doubt courting Millennials who’ve grown used to bundled costs, Lexus plans to offer its new subcompact crossover — hey, something else Millennials seem to like! — for an all-in-one monthly payment. The vehicle, the insurance, and the maintenance are all covered by a no-haggle price over a two-year term.
Lexus hasn’t listed what the monthly prices might look like, but its UX crossover isn’t the first vehicle to see a subscription-style lease treatment. Volvo popularized the idea with its recent XC40 crossover, also targeted at young, urban professional types with stable incomes and an aversion to dealership salespeople.
Since its launch in the Big Apple earlier this year, the BOOK by Cadillac car-subscription service has allowed customers in New York City to get behind the wheel of a Cadillac without signing the note on one of The General’s top-flight vehicles.
The project has proven to be enough of a success that Cadillac is now launching the product in two additional markets: Dallas and L.A.