Why own one Caddy when you can subscribe to an entire fleet of models

If owning a Cadillac has become too much of a burden, the American automaker is promising a new “ownership” method that provides people the opportunity to drive a handful of Cadillac models without actually owning any one of them. It’s called the Book by Cadillac and it’s a new monthly subscription service cooked up by General Motors as a way to invite customers to pay for the service instead of actually paying for the models.

For those familiar with Zipcar, the Book by Cadillac largely runs on the same premise. Members don’t actually need to own a car because all they have to do is pay a flat fee of $1,500 per month and that amount gives them access to drive any of the V Series Cadillacs they want, as well as the XT5, CT6, and even the new Escalade. The Book’s goal is to free owners from the complications of actually owning a car, so instead of having one for themselves, they can just use whatever model Cadillac has at its disposal for them by simply scheduling what model they want to drive, as well as when and where they want to drive it. Once their done driving it, Cadillac gets the cars back until such a time that members need another one, at which point, the company sends them another model for them to use.

While there is novelty to the idea, the cost of subscribing to the service is actually pretty steep considering that a three-year subscription adds up to around $54,000, which would already amount to the cost of an entry level 2017 CT6 sedan. But according to Caddy (and it’s got a point on this one), another selling point of the Book by Cadillac is the variety of Caddy models that members can use. Instead of simply owning a CT6 for three years, a member of the car-sharing service can drive an ATS-V Coupe in the summer and then switch over to an Escalade SUV in the winter.

The appeal is certainly there and the idea of not being committed to one model for an extended period of time is intriguing. Cadillac spokesman Eneuri Acosta even said that a test program the company did in 2016 returned overwhelmingly positive results, which is a big reason why the company decided to open the service up to a bigger audience. As such, the Book by Cadillac will find its way in New York first before plans begin of expanding the service in other regions in the U.S.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Interesting proposition, Cadillac

The whole premise of the Book by Cadillac is actually a sound one, at least if you open yourselves up to the possibilities of what it’s promising. Instead of actually owning just one car, members of the service will have access to a number of them depending on their needs at any specific point in time. It’s actually a good idea, especially for those whose lifestyles dictate the use of different kinds of cars.

It’s not just about owning one car compared to the service. It’s actually about owning more than one car – a sedan and an SUV, perhaps? – compared to the service. That’s where the Book by Cadillac can tout itself as a very appealing alternative to the traditional means of car ownership.

There are some caveats, of course, to being a member of the service. While there are no restrictions on mileage, users can only change vehicles up to 18 times per year. Likewise, users also have to pay for the gas, either by filling up the car when they’re done with it or through a Caddy concierge who bills their account. Then there’s the model availability, which is less of a problem now with the service just getting off the ground. But overtime as more people sign up for it, concerns on whether an Escalade is available when you need it is a very real possibility.

Ultimately though, the positives of the service outweigh the concerns about, at least as far as I’m concerned. I understand the offer and I’m aware of what users will lose out on if they subscribe to the service. But the offer of flexibility is intriguing for me and I’m especially curious to see if a lot of other people share in my sentiment. Good thing is the wait won’t be too long as the Book by Cadillac service will start in New York soon before expanding to other markets.

What do you think?
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