Mercedes-Benz is expanding a pilot subscription service that lets users switch between different luxury models to a third U.S. city a year after launching in Nashville and Philadelphia.
The pilot is another example of how automakers are experimenting — with mixed levels of success — with different ways to make money beyond producing and selling cars, trucks and SUVs. Cadillac, Volvo, Porsche and Audi have also launched subscription plans. Cadillac shuttered its service after a year; it’s recently announced plans to re-launch the service, but this time involving dealers more.
The luxury automaker, which is owned by Daimler, plans to bring its so-called “Mercedes-Benz Collection” to Atlanta, the same city where its U.S. headquarters are located. Clutch Technologies will continue to operate the subscription platform. That’s the same city where Porsche initially launched its subscription service.
Mercedes also plans to test a new subscription tier in Atlanta that will consist exclusively of the company’s high-performance AMG models.
The decision to expand is based on the success in its two initial markets, according to Mercedes. It’s been an especially fruitful program at attracting younger customers and those who have never owned a Mercedes. The automaker says 82% of its subscribers are new to Mercedes-Benz, and
“Interestingly, families and couples are equally accessing the service whether for use as their primary car, for fun or as a way to test drive a wide variety of models,” said Adam Chamberlain, vice president of sales for MBUSA.
The concierge-style service gives customers a choice between more than 50 model variants, depending on what tier a customer has subscribed to. The program has three tiers that range in price from $1,095 to $2,995 a month. Subscribers also pay a one-time activation fee of $495. The monthly subscription fee for the tier also includes insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, vehicle maintenance and no mileage limitations.
Each tier also allows access to the company’s popular high-performance Mercedes-AMG models.
Once customers have downloaded the app and passed a credit check, they can access the portfolio and request a vehicle. A concierge delivers the new vehicle washed, with a full tank of gas and takes away the previous vehicle.