Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz is starting a car-subscription pilot in two U.S. cities, joining brands ranging from Jeep to Porsche in testing alternative models to traditional vehicle ownership.
The app-based service initially available to drivers in Nashville and Philadelphia has three pricing tiers ranging from $1,095 to $2,995 a month. Subscribers will get access to SUVs, coupes, cabriolets and high-performance AMG cars, according to a company statement.
Mercedes will be challenging its biggest German rival head-on: BMW launched a subscription pilot -- also in Nashville -- in April that charges as much as $3,700 a month.
Just last week, Fiat Chrysler Automobile NV announced it would launch a service starting in 2019 with its Jeep brand. Porsche AG started an app-based pilot in Atlanta last year after General Motors Co.’s Cadillac introduced its Book service in January 2017.
“We’re always looking to stay ahead of our customers’ needs and wants, as well as to bring new people to the brand,” Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, said.
“We know there is a market opportunity for people who would like the ability to move in and out of vehicles, depending on what they need or want at a particular point in time, or who don’t want to own a vehicle right now. That’s why we are excited to test the waters” with the new service, called Mercedes-Benz Collection.
To get started, customers download the app, take a photo of their driver’s license and enter credit card information for the $495 activation fee. Subscribers can choose any vehicle within their tier with no mileage limitations. The monthly fee covers insurance, vehicle maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance.
By Gabrielle Coppola