2 Sep 19

It’s “Vegas, baby!” for Porsche subscription service

While other luxury car brands in North America scale back their subscription services, Porsche goes on the offensive.  Launched two years ago in Atlanta, Porsche’s app-based, two-tiered subscription formula is now available in Las Vegas, two further cities in the U.S. (San Diego and Phoenix) and one in Canada (Toronto). 

  • Porsche Passport, the monthly subscription service will now cost $100 extra, or up to $3,100.
  • Porsche Drive, the short-term programme, will cost as little as $269, for a four-hour minimum.

After a one-time activation fee of $595, subscribers can drive as many as 20 different model variants, have vehicles delivered directly to them, and pay only for fuel. Insurance and maintenance are included in the subscription. 

Vehicle subscription services are often compared to Netflix, Uber and other pay-as-you-go consumer formulas. However, vehicle subscriptions are strictly for those who value convenience over price, because they typically cost more than a comparable three-year lease. That limits their growth potential, and that is why some brands are struggling with it. 

In December, GM suspended its Book by Cadillac subscription service, with the revamp and relaunch planned for a later date. Volvo is battling with car dealerships in California over the implementation of its Care by Volvo programme, which combines lease, insurance and maintenance into one monthly payment. Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, has also recently expanded its subscription programme. 

For Porsche, the subscription is a means to an end: to engage with new customers, in the hope of establishing a long-lasting relationship. That seems to be working: 80% of the people who subscribed to a Porsche over the past two years had never owned a Porsche before. 

As part of the expansion, the subscription programme will now be run by Porsche dealers instead of the brand itself. Porsche chose the four additional cities for its subscription service based on the expectation of interest. Las Vegas, for instance, is booming with an influx of new residents and medium-term business travellers, often with a transportation stipend from their employers.

Authored by: Frank Jacobs