A hot topic in the car business lately is subscription cars. So where is the car salesman in subscription cars? We’ll get to that in a minute. No, it’s not buying and it's certainly not leasing a car, SUV or truck. It's called a subscription the same way you might subscribe to music or Netflix. The customer selects a car and they subscribe and pay a monthly fee. The subscription includes the car, insurance, registration, maintenance, road service, wiper blades, towing and anything else needed to operate that car except fuel.
You might say it's like leasing, but it’s not. With a subscription car, you can change cars whenever you desire. No fixed terms in most cases. You can change vehicles every month, every other month, every six months or a year. You say you only want to subscribe for two months, no problem. Return the car and you're done. All you have to do is pay your monthly subscription fee and drive the car.
At the time of this post, several manufacturers are providing subscription cars on a limited geographical basis. The main automakers sticking their toes in the water are BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and Volvo. Each manufacturer has a slightly different program when it comes to terms, pricing and purchase options at the end of the subscription. Volvo is currently limited to a model XC40 Compact SUV with an attractive subscription price and Mercedes Benz is currently piloting a subscription program. Still nothing yet on the role of the car salesman in subscription cars.
There are several other companies that are working with dealers and offering pre-owned cars for a subscription. The same premise, all expenses included except gas. These are strictly available from dealer to dealer. The companies help set up the dealer with software and operating systems. There are some links below on Flexdrive if you are interested. No details on the car salesman in subscription cars yet either, be patient.
Most these programs are handled online by both used and new manufacturer. The customer selects their vehicle from the website, has their driving record checked for insurance and supplies other details and options and they are ready to go. The customer comes in and drives away in their subscription car. Once again each program is slightly different than the other. For exact details, you would have to contact the manufacturer or dealer.
According to the reports, car subscriptions are doing well. Both you and I know that if this continues all the automobile manufacturers will be involved and it could become the third way to acquire a vehicle. Will that be finance, lease or subscription? It probably won't be long before you can subscribe to a Honda Civic or a Chevy Cruze. Maybe I am jumping the gun, but we need to have the car salesman in subscription cars for our future.
Role of the Car Salesman in Subscription Cars
Our question here at Car Sales Professional and I am sure your question is, where is the car salesman in subscription cars? Like I said earlier most of the process is done online and the customer comes and picks up the car. However, is the dealer just going to hand the keys over to a customer and say it's out there in the lot? Are they going to let customers drive away without any instruction? Wow, that sounds like a real CSI nightmare.
Are you going to tell me that a customer is going to select a Porsche, Mercedes Benz or Cadillac Escalade without a test drive? I think a car salesperson needs to be involved here. Who else knows about the cars. What about taking the customer for a test drive. Who else knows how to connect their smartphone? Who else can show them how to operate the navigation system?
This is where we need a professional car salesman in subscription cars. I am starting to smell a “mini” here.
What's the Future for the Car Salesman and Subscription Cars
I don't have any details here about the role of the car salesman in subscription cars. However, I was hoping some you readers out there might be working for a dealership that offers subscription cars. We all know that the dealers are not going to be interested unless there is money to be made. They are running a business, there must be profit potential in the service, maintenance, insurance and some of it needs to go to the car salesman.
It just makes sense for the car salesperson to be the one that delivers the car. We all know including the manufacturer that the delivery is a very critical and important part of customer satisfaction. A poor delivery almost always means a dissatisfied customer. Therefore for this new business model needs to have the car salesman in subscription cars to both ensure success and customer satisfaction. When the car salesperson is compensated accordingly everybody can win when it comes to car subscriptions.
If you work for a dealership that offers subscription cars, please help us out and leave a comment, statement or explanation below in the comment section. ↓
Later, Fresh Up on the Lot
Links to subscription car services and information.
Please remember to add your comments on subscription cars below. ⇓