DALLAS -- Luxury dealership group Park Place is joining the auto subscription trend, offering Dallas-Fort Worth customers their choice of a buffet of vehicles at three price tiers.
While the typical luxury customer buys or leases a single vehicle that works for them most of the time, younger consumers in particular are looking for a more varied experience than traditional ownership models allow.
"They might want to have a different vehicle for specific occasions," said Dave Evans, marketing director. "So, I might want to have a convertible on Valentine's Day to take my wife out when I normally have a sedan."
Several automakers plan to roll out their own subscription services or have already begun pilot programs, including Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac, Volvo, Lincoln and Hyundai. And more dealership groups and startups are moving into the auto-subscription space.
One is Drive Flow, owned by Flow Automotive Cos., a dealership group with 38 franchises in North Carolina and Virginia. Another is Canvas, a used-car subscription service Ford Motor Credit Co. acquired last year.
One unique aspect of the Park Place Select service is that it offers unlimited flips, or vehicle switches, and the price includes pickup and delivery in the DFW metropolitan area, Evans said.
For $895 a month at the Prime tier, subscribers have their choice of popular vehicles from Mercedes, Lexus, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover that come with insurance, maintenance and unlimited mileage.
The vehicle choices represent a mix of sedans, crossovers and SUVs, and subscribers can pick one using a smartphone application developed in partnership with Atlanta-based Clutch Technologies, which also supports the Flow and Porsche programs.
"The pricing that we have reflects all those elements and I think is very well in line with what would be the typical cost structure of one of those vehicles," Evans said.
Climbing up to the $1,395 payment at the Prime level brings higher-end vehicles from those manufacturers plus an entree into the Porsche brand with the Macan crossover.
The highest Premium tier at $1,795 gives subscribers access to the Maserati Ghibli sedan, Levante crossover, AMG models from Mercedes, two additional Porsches and the Range Rover Sport and Velar.
Park Place is rolling out the subscription service slowly with about 50 vehicles from the May 1 start date in order to learn more about customer behavior patterns and to avoid any hiccups along the way, Evans said.
That is likely to be scaled up significantly by the end of the year, he said, based on market research done by Clutch.
The service is likely to appeal to demographic groups beyond millennials as subscription-based services become more popular in general, Evans said.