By Elizabeth Puckett
You can already rent a car, and you can already lease one, but what if you could sign up for a subscription service as an alternative to buying a car? Cadillac is launching a new subscription based service that let’s you drive any Caddy you with a month-to-month commitment, let’s talk about this.
At this point, car markers are starting to feel a little dusty, a little looked over by the younger car buyers. U.S. car sales experienced a big decline last year, and many are pointing to ride sharing services and minimalist rental programs like Zipcar.
Cadillac thinks the answer is ‘reinventing’ car ownership itself by introducing it’s BOOK service. This will give members access to popular models, without the long term commitment to just one model.
They’re target audience is Gen X and Y’ers who want a luxury vehicle, but aren’t all in on the ownership experience. It’s something that fills a gap somewhere in between renting and leasing, and costs $1,500 a month. The cost is what raises an eyebrow about this thing; you can lease a Cadillac for about $300-$750 a month, depending not the model.
So Cadillac’s entire premise with BOOK is that you don’t have to commit to just one vehicle. This alone makes me feel like they’re missing the point. They think our problem with car ownership or leasing is that we’re (Gen X and Y’ers) commitment-phobes, and that’s why we’re not buying new cars as much.
Paying more than a car payment a month to be able to swap into a new model as we please doesn’t really have that much appeal as someone dead center in their target audience. I can actually see this as being something that might appeal to a generation or two up — people of the target generations are just starting out in the workforce, just starting families, or trying to figure out how to send their teenagers to college. I guess what I’m getting at it, this feels like splurge than a solution to simplified car ownership.
I have some ideas on why younger people aren’t buying, and they’re probably different than you think, but I’m going to roll that into a new topic, so stay tuned on that. But as far as Cadillac’s plan, I’m not feeling enthused.