Mercedes to Join Volvo, Cadillac, and Porsche in the Car Subscription Business with the "Mercedes me Flexperience" Subscription Program
You won’t have to buy a Mercedes at full price if you avail of this serviceby Kirby Garlitos, on
Mercedes-Benz is joining a host of other automakers in offering a new kind of ownership experience that will allow customers to drive the car of their dreams without actually owning them. Just like Volvo, Cadillac, and Porsche, the German automaker is in the final stages of developing a pilot program for a flat-rate vehicle subscription service, called “Mercedes me Flexperience.” The goal of this is service is to offer an alternative way to “owning” a Mercedes without actually having to buy it outright. The program is already available in a few countries, but it could also find its way into the U.S. as early as this year.
In a day and age when subscription services have taken hold of consumer interest and preference, it’s good to see that automakers are taking advantage of the opportunities and potential this kind of service provides. Mercedes is the latest automaker to get on board this new business model, and it’s not wasting any time getting it off the ground.
At the moment, the automaker’s Mercedes me Flexperience service is already in operation in Germany. Beyond that, there are now plans to offer it in the U.S. market. "We plan to have something ready within this year," Britta Seeger, global head of sales for Mercedes-Benz, told Automotive News at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. "We are in the final conclusion stage.”
For all the expected uncertainty that comes with a business model, a subscription service is proving to be an appealing option for a lot of customers. A number of other automakers have adopted similar approaches in recent months and years, including Volvo’s well-publicized “Care by Volvo,” as well as Cadillac’s own version, “ Book by Cadillac,” which is already available in a number of U.S. cities. Other automakers like Porsche have begun to offer a similar service, all of which are geared towards helping prospective customers get drive the car of dreams without actually having to buy it for themselves.
Mercedes’ new Flexperience service is now available in Germany, giving subscribers the opportunity to choose as many as 12 vehicles per year from one of its four most popular segments: the A-Class, C-Class, E-Class, and S Class. Subscriptions will be offered for the four vehicle classes, and the corresponding price will vary depending on which model a subscriber gets. There is also an option to upgrade from one model to another, but that’s going to come at an extra cost depending on what the new model is going to be. The process may get away from traditional car ownership, but if it means being able to drive a model you can’t afford for a specific time and then trading up for a bigger and better car when you’re done with the first one, then the service should draw plenty of buzz and attention when it launches in the U.S. sometime in 2019.
Regardless of the mechanics, the mere mention that the Mercedes me Flexiperience is headed to the U.S should pique the interest of prospective consumers.
Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet.
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