What Do You Want to Drive? DFW Dealers Create Auto Subscription Programs

The popularity of subscription technology is growing as dealers’ margins on used car sales tighten, and consumers see longer loan terms, rising interest rates, and bigger monthly payments for vehicles

subscription

Carrollton-based eCarOne and Hurst-based Essence Maserati & Alfa Romeo are joining the vehicle subscription trend by choosing Flexdrive as their technology partner to launch their vehicle subscription services.

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[Photo: supergenijalac/iStockphoto]

Flexdrive is an Atlanta-based car technology and services company that enables car dealerships and fleet owners to offer on-demand car subscriptions via mobile devices to consumers. It’s a joint venture between Cox Automotive and the fleet management company ARI.

The subscription technology’s popularity is growing in the industry as dealers’ margins on used car sales tighten and consumers have seen long loan terms, rising interest rates, and growing monthly payments for vehicles.

USA Today reported that besides North Texas, subscription services are cropping up in Los Angeles, San Francisco, the New York metro area, Atlanta, and other cities in the South and Midwest.

“… many of our customers want variability and variety in what they drive—offering car subscriptions makes that possible while also attracting a new customer base who might not have purchased our cars otherwise.”
Motaz A. Rhima

Flexdrive will act as the technology platform for both North Texas dealerships’ car subscription programs. It also will provide a consumer marketplace that both dealerships can tap.

Motaz A. Rhima, owner of eCarOne and Essence said the platform will offer choices to his customers.

“We provide high-end cars to the Dallas and Fort Worth markets and have a strong customer base that’s come to expect quality in our vehicles and service. But many of our customers want variability and variety in what they drive—offering car subscriptions makes that possible while also attracting a new customer base who might not have purchased our cars otherwise,” Rhima said. “Flexdrive is the best subscription partner given their capabilities and proven success in working with other dealerships, and quickly delivering them ROI on the program.”

According to a release, the dealerships will offer luxury cars such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Lexus, Maserati, and Mercedes Benz as part of their subscription programs, which also will include more standard vehicles such as Chrysler and Jeep. Essence and eCarOne are the first dealerships in the country to offer high-end Alfa Romeos to consumers via subscription, the release said.

OTHER NORTH TEXAS DEALERS OFFER SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES

Other North Texas dealerships have started subscription services.

In May, Park Place Dealerships launched its Park Place Select subscription service, for example.

“I believe that what you are seeing is … a dealership organization transform into a full-fledged transportation service.”
Hesham Elgaghil

NBCDFW.com reported the Park Place service will allow members access to one of three levels of luxury vehicles, depending on their budget and needs.

“I believe that what you are seeing is … a dealership organization transform into a full-fledged transportation service,” Hesham Elgaghil, vice president of strategic growth at Park Place Dealerships, told Channel 5.

At Park Place, the monthly subscription fee pays for an unlimited number of vehicle “flips,” vehicle insurance, all required maintenance, cleaning costs, and a personal concierge.

Park Place Select offers three tiers; Prime, Plus and Premium, Channel 5 reported. Each tier offers a different class of luxury vehicle, taken from the brands and models —Mercedes-Benz C Class and GLC Class; Volvo S60; Lexus ES and IS; Jaguar XE; Land Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport— that Park Place offers at its 17 dealerships across North Texas.

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