Mercedes-Benz To Pilot High-End Vehicle Subscription Service

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Mercedes-Benz USA and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA announced news on Thursday (April 12) that they are gearing up to launch Mercedes-Benz Collection, a luxury vehicle subscription service.

In a press release, the companies said the service will enable consumers to switch in and out of vehicles depending on their need at the time or how their lifestyle dictates. The service will run in partnership with Mercedes-Benz dealers and will launch as a pilot in June in Nashville and Philadelphia. Multiple subscription tiers will be present in each location, with subscribers able to choose from a wide variety of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks, including SUV, sedan, coupe, cabriolet, roadster and wagon models. The companies noted each tier will allow access to higher performance Mercedes-AMG models.

“The Mercedes-Benz Collection experience is equal parts app- and concierge-driven. Once subscribed, customers initiate vehicle exchanges, concierge communication and other actions via the app,” the companies said in the press release. “Concierge staff then ensure that the delivery is consistent with the details and preferences in the customer’s profile. Subscribers will enjoy unlimited access within their tier and no mileage limitations. The monthly subscription fee also includes insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance and vehicle maintenance.”

Mercedes-Benz did not disclose how much the subscriptions will cost.

The automaker isn’t the only company testing a subscription service to provide consumers access to cars. Porsche Passport, the luxury car maker’s subscription service that enables users to access Porsche cars through a mobile app, will be a competitor and is luring younger-than-expected drivers. Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche North America, told CNBC that the program, which has been live in Atlanta since November 2017, is attracting drivers who wouldn’t typically drive their cars.

“We engage people with a brand that they usually wouldn’t,” Zellmer said. “We’re conquesting a target group, and engaging them with a brand, who do not want to commit to a three-year lease. They just want to go month by month and are willing to spend for that.”

With the monthly subscription, customers pay either a flat fee of $2,000 or $3,000. It includes a $500 activation fee, credit check and also covers vehicle tax, registration, insurance and maintenance. Users can download the app and start scheduling future rides on the same day. Porsche is working with Atlanta-based Clutch Technologies, which developed the app and already markets a vehicle subscription service in parts of the country.

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