Ready for a fresh start in 2018, Lincoln Motor Co. unveiled plans to launch a month-to-month vehicle subscription in parts of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area next year. Building on the model of Ford’s Canvas subscription launched last May, Lincoln’s all-inclusive, monthly subscription fee will cover insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance, and vehicle pickup and delivery, reports Automotive News. It will also allow flexibility for users who don’t want to commit to a more traditional vehicle lease.
‘Long-term leases will obviously play a role in our overall portfolio, but in the spirit of effortlessness, there is a consumer out there who doesn’t really need a three-year lease,’ said Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra. ‘We’re coming up with a different ownership model for them.’
The luxury vehicle subscription has not been named or priced yet, but Robert Parker, Lincoln’s global director of marketing, sales and service, said it will be priced significantly lower than its competitors. He also said that the company is ‘reinventing leasing,’ but Lincoln is only one of many vehicle manufacturers testing the subscription model. Hyundai, GM (Cadillac), Ford, Volvo and Porsche have also launched vehicle subscriptions in the last year.
‘The inspiration for us was from research about what customers want, and they want options,’ Parker said.
The new vehicle subscription is one example of how Lincoln is trying to appeal to customers with superior service. Last year, for example, Lincoln began doing pickups and deliveries for 2017 and newer vehicles needing service. Within a year’s time, Lincoln has done more than 60,000 pickups and deliveries. The company also launched a Lincoln Chauffeur program. Available in Miami and San Diego, this service, accessed via a smartphone app, provides a personal chauffeur to drive customers around in their own cars to run errands. This program is expanding into Dallas under the name Lincoln Personal Driver.
‘Research shows us that luxury customers are using services like Lincoln Personal Drive in their daily lives,’ Galhotra said. ‘We take it one step further by allowing our owners to use this service with their own vehicle, on their own time, and for a number of tasks to make their experience as effortless as possible.
In November, Lincoln also announced a partnership with CLEAR to help customers get through airport security swiftly at more than 30 participating airports and arenas across the country. Members go to a dedicated CLEAR line where they are escorted through security after a simple finger tap or blink of an eye, bypassing long security lines. The program will launch in January.
‘Our clients tell us time is their ultimate luxury,’ Galhotra said in a statement. ‘So we’ve paired our exceptional vehicles with world-class services in collaboration with CLEAR to enable them to travel along their journey even more effortlessly and efficiently.’
Car subscriptions are not new, but they are evolving as car manufacturers learn what works and what doesn’t. We don’t know enough about Lincoln’s vehicle subscription to compare it to other services, but we do like that Lincoln is thinking outside the box to really attract and retain customers. The subscription may be similar to those of other manufacturers, but its other services are somewhat unique, particularly as a package. Imagine having the flexibility of a month-to-month car subscription, combined with preferred access at airport security and having someone drive you around to run your errands. This is a pretty sweet package for Lincoln car owners and subscribers.