Retailer Prime launches subscription service
New England retailer Prime Motor Group joins a growing number of dealership groups across the country offering a vehicle subscription service to woo customers who want flexibility and may not want to own or lease a vehicle.
The dealership group in Westwood, Mass., launched Prime Flip in suburban Boston on Tuesday. Monthly membership in the service is limited to 50 customers initially. Members have access to premium and luxury sedans, crossovers, SUVs, pickups, coupes and convertibles from brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, Acura, BMW, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and Chevrolet. Vehicles are from the current model year or a year earlier.
The subscription service is part of the growth strategy of parent company Prime Automotive Group. Several automakers have launched their own vehicle subscription programs such as Book by Cadillac and Access by BMW. In recent months, more dealership groups have gotten into the game, too.
"Driving a premium or luxury vehicle is a great experience that can now be enjoyed in an entirely different way as a unique alternative to buying, leasing or renting," David Rosenberg, CEO of Prime Automotive Group, said in a statement. "We think Prime Flip will redefine the automobile experience for our New England customers. It's like having a multi-vehicle garage at the push of a button."
Members can request a specific vehicle to fit their needs using the Prime Flip smartphone app. Customers can swap vehicles as often as they want. And a concierge service uses member driving preferences to suggest vehicles for specific outings, such as a Chevrolet Suburban for the family vacation or a Porsche 718 Cayman for date night.
Prime Flip has a $500 enrollment fee and costs $1,995 per month, plus tax. Insurance, maintenance and vehicle registration costs are included. Members can drive a total of 2,000 miles a month before a per-mile overage fee begins. Unused miles roll over to the next month.
The program is open to people 25 and older with a driver's license and clean driving history. Enrollment is handled through the app. Prime is using technology developed by Clutch Technologies, of Atlanta, for its service.
For now, members must live within 50 miles of Prime Flip's operation center in Westwood. The Prime Flip website indicates the program eventually may expand but doesn't identify locations under consideration.
Prime Motor Group has about 30 dealerships in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. It is part of Prime Automotive Group, which was formed after Prime Motor Group and GPB Capital's Capstone Automotive Group combined last fall.
Prime Automotive Group ranks No. 13 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 46,163 new vehicles in 2017.
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