BMW is launching a car-subscription pilot — called Access by BMW — in Tennessee next week.
According to Bloomberg, the service will be offered by a local BMW dealership in Nashville starting April 2.
BMW’s North American chief Bernhard Kuhnt spoke about the company’s plans for a subscription-type service at the Detroit Auto Show in January. But while a company spokesman confirmed that BMW is planning a subscription pilot program in 2018, there were no additional details given.
This type of service is one way automakers can attract younger customers. Last year, Cadillac launched a car subscription concierge service of Cadillac cars and SUVs called BOOK. The service allows for the company’s vehicles to be delivered and picked up on demand for customers via a smartphone app. The program will be available in New York City, and expand to additional larger U.S. cities over time.
And Care by Volvo, which is set to launch this spring, combines lease, insurance and maintenance into one monthly payment. Initially, there will only be one single vehicle eligible for the program: the brand’s new XC40 compact SUV. The automaker has also found a way for international students to lease a car in the states with its International Student Program, which allows parents to lease a new vehicle from the company by making a one-time payment to a local dealership. According to Rick Bryant, vice president of sales operations at Volvo Car USA, the program makes vehicle leasing simpler for international students’ families by also offering bundled auto insurance and maintenance.
BMW has also found other ways to entice customers. In January, the company's captive finance arm launched a flexible lease program that allows BMW and Mini brand car owners in California, Washington and Oregon to share their cars with family and friends, or use them to drive for ridesharing services. The program will enable BMW to integrate itself into “the fabric of the sharing economy,” the company said at the time.