Mercedes to end subscription program in US

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Mercedes-Benz will end its Collection car subscription program in the United States this summer.

The program was started two years ago as a trial but demand never picked up to the level needed to justify expanding it, Adam Chamberlain, vice president of sales at Mercedes-Benz USA, told Automotive News (subscription required) in an interview last week.

The program was limited to the cities of Nashville, Philadelphia and Atlanta and drew a few hundred customers, Chamberlain said. It isn’t clear if the program was actually profitable, though.

Collection allowed participants to swap between a number of available cars for a single monthly fee. The cars were grouped into several tiers, with the most affordable starting at $1,095. There was also an AMG-exclusive tier for $3,595 per month.

Included in the cost was insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, all maintenance, a pick up and delivery service, and no mileage limitations. You basically only had to cover the cost of fuel. And there was no minimum period for the subscription. After the first 32 days, the subscription was automatically renewed but the subscriber could cancel at any time.

According to Chamberlain, the program was a great learning experience, especially because it attracted younger customers—80% of which were new to the brand.

Other automakers have tested the waters with similar subscription programs. Cadillac closed its own program in 2018 but plans to bring it back in revived form later this year, and Porsche, which launched its own program in 2017, last year expanded it to more cities.

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Saurabh Shukla

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