"We're trying to create a win-win solution," Day said. "Everyone's telling the dealer your days are numbered. We're trying to turn it around: Why don't we bring this platform to us, the dealer network, and give them the strength and the power for this longer-term initiative?"
Few dealership groups have been brave enough to try their hand at subscriptions so far. Only 4 percent of those that responded to a recent survey by Auxilio Group said they offer such a program, but 51 percent said they were considering the idea. Nearly a third said they weren't familiar with the concept of vehicle subscriptions.
Dealers who have launched subscription services cite a variety of reasons, said Tim York, managing partner of industries at accounting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman, which formed Auxilio with consultancy NCM Associates. Some want to build their brand, others want to offer consumers options outside of personal car ownership and most want to create a new revenue stream.
"If you're going to put 100 vehicles on the street, it takes a lot of money. So the question is what do you want to be with subscriptions?" York said. "Some dealers want to make money with it, some want to experiment with it and some haven't even heard of it."