FCA to Test Vehicle Subscription & Car-sharing Services in Boston
Pilot programs give a handful of Massechussetts-area residents the chance to experience flexible ownership.
Though many other automakers and brands are struggling to post sales gains, Jeep remains a hot commodity. But that doesn’t mean Fiat-Chrysler is content to just sit around and reap the benefits of its cash cow. According to Bloomberg, FCA is planning to test out not only a Jeep subscription service, but peer-to-peer car sharing as well. Jeep joins other automakers, including Porsche, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz in this brave new world of car “ownership.”
FCA is partnering with Avis to offer a three-month subscription plan. The pilot program would allow owners to trade their Jeep for other Fiat-Chrysler products following that short time period. FCA is also teaming up with Turo to allow owners to rent their vehicles out to other people on demand. Turo has already been offering similar services for several years now and currently boasts over 350,000 owner-rented vehicles.
All of which sounds good, but there’s one major caveat. Both programs will initially only be available in the Boston area, and are limited to 100 people each. But as we’ve seen with other automakers, this pilot program will be used to determine if there is enough viable demand to expand it to other parts of the country. Thus far, automakers have experienced mixed results with these flexible ownership programs.
Regardless, you have to credit FCA and Jeep for giving it a try. And as Jeep head Tim Kuniskis explained to Bloomberg at the Detroit Auto Show, the brand sees this as a potential way to attract new buyers. “All these people who are casually going, ‘Is it for me or not for me?,’ I can then get them as potential prospects to sell them a brand-new Wrangler.”
Personally, we’re betting that a little wheel time in a new Wrangler will be enough to convince folks that it’s worth the purchase.