Porsche tests app-based vehicle subscription plan
Porsche Cars North America, whose unit sales have risen 2.5% this year from 2016, introduced a sports car and SUV subscription program that lets members get flexible access to vehicles through a mobile application, a statement said. The Porsche Passport offers frequent vehicle exchanges, unrestricted mileage and on-demand access for up to 22 different Porsche models.
The carmarker will test the program in Atlanta with the help of Clutch Technologies, a platform that manages contacts with customers and the end-to-end service delivery for the app. Memberships include vehicle tax and registration, insurance, maintenance and detailing for a fixed monthly fee ranging from $2,000 to $3,000.
Atlanta residents can sign up for Porsche Passport by downloading the app from the App Store or Google Play. The service charges a one-time activation fee of $500, and membership approval is dependent on a background and credit check. Beginning next month, a vehicle will be delivered to the member's requested location.
Carmakers like Porsche are seeking ways to drive revenue as consumer habits shift away from owning a vehicle to leasing arrangements or greater dependence on ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. While the Porsche Passport program is priced toward the luxury market, most affluent consumers still don’t have the ability to buy an entire fleet of cars to match the selection that a membership offers.
The use of a mobile app makes it easy and convenient for customers to manage the subscription. Users can schedule same day or future vehicle exchanges through the Porsche Passport app.
For a $2,000 monthly fee, Porsche Passport customers get access to models such as the 718 Boxster, the 718 Cayman S and six other Porsche models. The pricier $3,000-a-month subscription offers 22 models including the Cayenne E-Hybrid sport utility vehicle.
Porsche’s pilot program comes as parent company Volkswagen Group offers the Audi on Demand service in San Francisco. Swedish carmaker Volvo plans to debut its Care By Volvo subscription plan next year with the XC40 SUV that will bundle insurance, maintenance and washing into one flat fee with the car, The Verge reported.