If you believe that the emergence of a gig economy was only true of labor markets, you may be wrong. In today’s era of sharing economy, the prospect of “no ownership” continues to entice millennials, and the tendency to shun ownership is going beyond just housing. Noticing this trend, and with a finger on the consumer pulse, Cadillac is the latest brand to reinvent its offerings, launching a first-of-its kind luxury vehicle subscription service- BOOK by Cadillac in the US market. This service, which turns the traditional car dealership model on its head, gives members access to popular Cadillac vehicles for a flat monthly fee of US$1,500, without “the commitment of leasing, financing or buying.” Targeted at “a growing class of luxury drivers,” who often feel a need to experience different luxury rides with minimum hassle, BOOK by Cadillac offers an app-enabled on-demand access to the latest premium Cadillac models for members on their own terms. Having launched in the city of New York, Cadillac says in a statement that it plans to expand the service in other markets.
All one has to do is download the app, request a vehicle of their choice, schedule its delivery (the vehicles are delivered by a “white-glove concierge” to requested locations), and drive and exchange cars based on how needs change. Further, membership is flexible, and is only monthly requiring no long-term commitment. But, the most attractive of the service’s benefits s that maintenance, insurance and other operational tasks for the vehicles are all handled by Cadillac, thus freeing members from the burdens associated with owning a car. Writing about the Book by Cadillac experience, travel portal Conde Nast Traveler opines that while slightly more expensive than a lease plus insurance model, the service scores in giving users the flexibility to pick whatever vehicle feels right. “An Escalade for winter driving to ski resorts, a 464-horsepower ATS-V coupe for summer road trips, a sure-footed CT6 for when your parents are in town, or an XT5 for Ikea runs,” reads the review. With such flexibility, looks like Cadillac’s Netflix-for-cars like service has the potential to make consumers think twice about buying cars, and considering the Middle East region’s penchant for luxury vehicles, we hope it isn’t long before the service arrives to the region.