Let’s say you own an Escalade. You’ve had it for a couple of months; it looks great, runs great – but you’re bored. You could drop $80,000 for an upgrade, or you could sign up for Cadillac’s BOOK and never be bored again.
The service lets fickle car enthusiasts enjoy the variety of Cadillac vehicles on-demand. Reservations are made through a smartphone app that makes it easy for members to select their preferred car. Once the model of choice is selected, it is delivered via a ‘white glove’ concierge service to wherever you are. If you feel like switching to a new car, you simply trade it in for another one. Subscribers can switch cars up to 18 times a year, with no limit on mileage.
“The concierge would then take the train back to headquarters, or have another driver from the fleet drive him away. Those who subscribe will be able to keep a car for as long as they want and trade it in for another model whenever they like,” Vocativ reports.
Subscription Versus Ownership
The perks are evident – a new car every month, no need to worry about car registration, taxes, insurance, and maintenance, no long-term commitment of leasing, financing, or buying. But only for people who can afford the service. As you might have expected, given that it was launched by one of the biggest luxury car makers, there’s a pretty hefty price tag attached to it – $1,500 a month.
As Melody Lee, Cadillac’s director of brand marketing explains:
“BOOK is aimed squarely at Gen X and Y customers who want the experience of a luxury vehicle without the hassles of traditional ownership. BOOK fills a gap between traditional ownership (leasing, financing, buying) and the efficient, but less personal aspect of rental, car- and ride-sharing (Hertz, Zipcar, Uber/Lyft).”
BOOK will officially launch in New York City on February 1 as a month-to-month arrangement, and will eventually become available in other markets across the U.S. such as Los Angeles.
Offhand, BOOK’s service can probably best serve luxury car enthusiasts with money to burn on such an extravagance; or jet setters who travel so much it doesn’t make sense own a car. But while it’s a service that isn’t necessarily accessible to regular commuters and motorists, it does mark a shift toward how car manufacturers are reinventing the traditional car ownership model.