By on January 20, 2019

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.”  (Read More…)

By on November 12, 2018

Care by Volvo subscription service

Despite the push from an eager industry, car subscription services haven’t proven an overwhelming success. The general consensus is that premium services, while intriguing concepts, are too expensive and complicated to maintain at scale. Book by Cadillac, which was recently suspended by General Motors, is emblematic of the public’s lackadaisical response to a system mired in logistical issues.

However, the concept itself isn’t dead just because one manufacturer decided it wasn’t worthwhile. Other premium nameplates still have their own services — Toyota plans to launch its own subscription-based pilot program in Japan soon, while Volvo Cars has enjoyed some success with Care by Volvo. Still, framing it as a trouble-free victory for the brand would be a mistake. Volvo’s subscription service has been as much a learning opportunity as it has been an overwhelming triumph.  (Read More…)

By on November 5, 2018

Cadillac recently made the choice to suspend its vehicle subscription service, claiming the operation hit some costly roadblocks. That’s been our beef with most subscription programs as well, only on the consumer side of the coin. Customers typically end up paying significantly more for access to a fleet of vehicles that, individually, would have been much cheaper to simply buy or lease. Still, the intended draw isn’t saving money, it’s convenience — most subscription services allow customers to swap between select models on the fly, baking in both insurance and maintenance fees.

While these subscription services have been limited to premium nameplates thus far, Toyota wants to try its hand and see how things play out for a mainstream manufacturer. (Read More…)

By on November 2, 2018

2018 Cadillac CTS-V

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. (Read More…)

By on August 2, 2018

Image: GM

Melody Lee, the former brand marketing director who joined General Motors’ luxury division in 2012 and later headed its “Book by Cadillac” subscription service, has resigned. Apparently, Lee isn’t jumping ship to another job just yet.

According to Cadillac Society, Lee posted to LinkedIn that she “doesn’t know what’s next,” but is “excited for it.” To any casual observer, that language reeks of being forced out; a GM spokesman claims Lee “has elected to resign from Cadillac to pursue other interests.” (Read More…)

By on July 15, 2018

2016 BMW X6, Image: BMW

Automakers are trying everything under the sun to turn a larger profit these days. Building and selling cars is no longer enough. Manufacturers now offer data plans, rental services, lifestyle products, and much more. One of the newest additions to their collective portfolio is the subscription plan — which yields customers a vehicle, insurance, maintenance, and other perks for a monthly fee.

However, as the concept is preparing to enter the mainstream market, the value of such programs have been called into question. While subscription services look like one-stop shopping, often providing users with the ability to swap models throughout the year, their cost effectiveness comes into doubt when one examines the bottom line. We’ve been skeptical for a while but Edmunds recently crunched the numbers to find out for sure.  (Read More…)

By on April 16, 2018

2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Group - Image: Mercedes-Benz

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.  (Read More…)

By on December 4, 2017

Care by Volvo subscription service

Automakers are throwing everything they currently have at the wall to see what sticks. The concept of “mobility” is now so broad that it encompasses automation, electrification, vehicle connectivity, alternative modes of transportation, driving aids, ride-sharing, ride-hailing, and even subscription services — and plenty of companies are giving them all a shot.

Last week, we talked about Volvo’s new car subscription service. Most of us had difficulties rationalizing the price based on how the product is being offered. A lot of companies are testing those waters right now, especially luxury brands. Lincoln recently launched a subscription initiative that is extremely similar to Cadillac’s, and Porsche has been buzzing about its own “Passport” service. However, mainstream brands like Ford and Hyundai are also trying their hand — albeit very differently.  (Read More…)

By on November 30, 2017

Volvo Cars is rolling out a subscription service that allows access to vehicles for a monthly fee. It’s a growing trend among luxury brands. Book by Cadillac is the first service to spring to mind but brands like Porsche and Ford have introduced regional pilot programs offering roughly the same thing. Volvo’s subscription service is not a trial run, however. It’s the full enchilada.

For $600 a month, Care by Volvo is offering access to its new XC40 — the new compact SUV that just started production in Belgium this month. Here’s how it works: Volvo customers choose a car online and make a monthly payment that covers insurance, service, and maintenance. The subscription last 24 months but, during that time, customers will be given the opportunity to change cars and sign up for a new 24-month subscription as early as a year into the existing agreement.

It’s an interesting alternative to leasing and a lot of outlets have praised the service for being so affordable, especially compared to Cadillac’s monthly subscription fee of $1,500. But the services aren’t directly comparable. Fist of all, General Motors allows customers to swap vehicles month to month. Secondly, those models are valeted to you and could have an MSRP in excess of $86,000.  (Read More…)

By on November 14, 2017

2018 Cadillac CTS-V

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.
(Read More…)

By on March 3, 2017

Chevrolet Tahoe overlooking a city

As urban populations grow and analysts continue to predict dwindling car ownership, alternatives have sprung up and automakers are gradually getting in on that sweet car-sharing action. Currently active in 17 North American cities, General Motors’ hourly ride-sharing unit Maven has been building slowly.

GM is now expanding Maven to include long-term rentals which, come to think of it, sounds identical to what it was doing with its Book by Cadillac premium subscription service. While the Caddy offering is intended to be a monthly subscription serving as an alternative to normal vehicle ownership, nothing is really stopping customers from using “Maven Reserve” in a similar manner.

Also similar is the pricing. While the special Maven Reserve vehicles don’t yet encompass all GM’s fleet, a Chevrolet Tahoe runs $1,500 for 28 days, which is identical to the subscription fee for Cadillac Book, which also includes curbside car delivery and mid-month vehicle swapping.

In essence, GM is allowing you to have simultaneous access to a CTS-V and Escalade or a Tahoe for the same amount of money.  (Read More…)

By on February 3, 2017

BOOK by Cadillac Website

General Motors’ luxury division isn’t content with brewing coffee and showing off fashionable new threads at its new SoHo space — it also wants you to drive its cars.

Book by Cadillac, a monthly subscription lease service that launched one month ago, aims to get more people in the metal to the tune of $1,500 a month — and 24/7 Wall St. is already calling it a “major flop.”

According to the self-described “financial news and opinion” website, “[Uwe] Ellinghaus [Cadillac’s chief marketing officer] in particular has to be humiliated,” as there aren’t enough subscriptions available to supply the demand.

Say what now?

(Read More…)

By on January 6, 2017

PH-818009996 Cadillac Escala GM

Oh, Cadillac. Sometimes I feel bad for you, what with your rebadged Impalas, your ATS wasting away on dealer lots for $15,000 under sticker, your XT5 badges that look exactly like XTS badges — it’s enough to make a man pity you.

But then you go and do stupid shit like starting a “Luxury Subscription Service,” and I lose any sympathy I have managed to scrape together. Yes, Cadillac thinks that renting you a car (that nobody wants to buy) for $1,500 a month is a great idea, and it has all the early signs of being something that Cadillac has excelled at recently — being a complete and total failure.

(Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • JohnTaurus: I worry about it simply because “1990s GM Quality (or lack there of)”. My 1995 Blazer and...
  • Corey Lewis: The paint and special assembly won’t make it feel any more special to drive, and that’s the...
  • JohnTaurus: You like the car? But $5 gas will be here any day. Shouldn’t he have bought a Prius C? Oh,...
  • SCE to AUX: This takes salesman pressure to another level.
  • sgeffe: I’ve always parked on the end of rows when possible with my current car. It’s mostly worked; my main scratch...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States