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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Closing the Book: GM Shutters Cadillac's Subscription Program

      Could make a return in the future

    Cadillac was one of the first brands to launch a subscription service. Called Book, the service allowed users to access Cadillac's lineup including the Escalade and CTS-V for a monthly fee. But only a year after it launched the program, General Motors is pulling the plug.

    The Wall Street Journal broke the news this afternoon, learning from sources that the company will end operations of Book by the end of the year. Subscribers will have a 30-day window from the time they notified to turn in their vehicles. A GM spokesman confirmed the closure.

    According to sources, certain aspects of Book proved to be quite costly. A key example was some of the back-end technology used to support the service "made some customer-service functions tedious and time-consuming, adding costs for the company." This move comes a few days after GM announced that it would be offering voluntary buyouts to 18,000 salaried workers.

    Analysts say car subscriptions bring a number of headaches with trying to deal with the logistics of keeping vehicles repaired, cleaned, and delivering them within a short time frame.

    “Some of these services will even transfer your stuff from car to car, from your phone charger to your kid’s stroller. The problems posed in offering that level of service at scale are vast,” said Ivan Drury, senior analyst with Edmunds.com.

    The GM spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the program could restart in the future.

    “We are hitting the pause button for a brief time to make some tweaks to Book [by Cadillac] based on our learnings,” he said.

    Cadillac isn't the only brand that is rethinking the whole subscription model. Hyundai closed down their program which offered Ioniq Electrics only in California, though the brand is planning a revamped version to appear in the future. Lincoln is looking into making changes to their service which offers off-lease vehicles.

    Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)



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    Not surprised, I wondered about all the back end costs associated with supporting a program like this. I honestly do not see this making a return in the future as I do not think companies will ever make the drastic computerized changes needed to better track this and manage it and due to the over all costs of things in the US, you cannot find cheap enough labor to deal with all the other manual things that go on as has been listed above.

    Concept is great for those that like to change auto's frequently but reality is another thing.

    RIP

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    i could see them continuing it unofficially on a very small scale and not really advertising it.  But you gotta set it up so the monthy is something like 1500-2000 a month in order to make money (on an Escalade).

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    I said when they launched this program that it wouldn't work.  It is too expensive to pay $1800 a month to drive a car that you can lease for $600.  Plus people tend to hate changing cars, they get one and stick with it.  

    A subscription plan only works if you pay a monthly fee to have an autonomous car pick you up and take you were you need to go, sort of like unlimited Uber for a monthly flat rate.  People would pay for that to replace having to own a car.

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    45 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I said when they launched this program that it wouldn't work.  It is too expensive to pay $1800 a month to drive a car that you can lease for $600.  Plus people tend to hate changing cars, they get one and stick with it.  

    A subscription plan only works if you pay a monthly fee to have an autonomous car pick you up and take you were you need to go, sort of like unlimited Uber for a monthly flat rate.  People would pay for that to replace having to own a car.

    I expect all the other subscription programs to fail too.

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    The Idea might succeed IF the entire business model was subscription-only.  Usually that means either a new car company OR a new division within an existing one.  Once you have fully automated self-driving cars prove themselves, then this model can work.  Just not right now.

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    16 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    I said when they launched this program that it wouldn't work.  It is too expensive to pay $1800 a month to drive a car that you can lease for $600.  Plus people tend to hate changing cars, they get one and stick with it.  

    A subscription plan only works if you pay a monthly fee to have an autonomous car pick you up and take you were you need to go, sort of like unlimited Uber for a monthly flat rate.  People would pay for that to replace having to own a car.

    Though at that price makes sense to use a limo driver....

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