Subscription services have become big business. From companies that deliver recipe ready ingredients to your door and pet food and treat samplers to shave clubs, book clubs, wine of the month and even outfits that deliver bacon or a monthly mystery to solve. Whatever your vice, there’s a subscription for it and now, that even includes people who have a penchant for cars.
Jeep recently announced it will introduce a subscription service in 2019. The new subscription program will allow users to drive a car for a monthly fee and will be an expansion of their Jeep Wave customer loyalty program. Jeep joins a handful of other car companies now offering the decidedly high-end vehicle subscription service.
Over the past few years Volvo, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche, among others, have begun to offer a similar service. Jeep’s new service is one of its larger changes but it isn’t their most dramatic announcement. The company has already said they will begin to branch out on their line at a time when the likes of Ford are shrinking and focusing their vehicle line-up. Jeep announced they’ll begin offering pickup trucks and variations of their SUVs, including a third-row option and a small compact SUV (which might qualify as an oxymoron).
Jeep, like other car companies, have cited a changing demographic when it comes to car buying. Younger people want more options, more upgrades and simply better value for their money. The idea is to draw users who may be using public transport and ride sharing in lieu of their own car. With costs rising for ride share programs and taxis while cities invest less in public transportation, there are thousands of potential customers in the balance.
Will this new approach attract customers or simply alienate long-time car fans? Can Jeep create a monthly program robust enough to attract customers but priced reasonably enough to make it worth swapping Uber, Lyft or the local train for a car? How will these cars fare on the used market once they aren’t fit for subscription use anymore? More importantly, will customers find true value in the service? Stay tuned.