BMW is to pilot a car subscription service in the US state of Tennessee, according to reports.
Citing an unnamed source in BMW, Bloomberg reported that starting April 2, the Bavarian carmaker will offer a subscription service from a dealership in Nashville, allowing customers to switch between models over the lifetime of the contract.
Asked about the reports, a spokesman for BMW told Motor Finance the company was planning a subscription pilot for 2018, without giving further information.
BMW’s head for north America, Bernhard Kuhnt, had hinted at plans for such a pilot during January’s Detroit Motor Show, saying that it would be developed in collaboration with BMW Financial Services.
BMW would not be the first carmaker to experiment with usage-driven, all-inclusive subscription services for consumers.
Last year, Chinese-owned Volvo introduced subscription offers Europe-wide for its XC40 model and UK-wide for its Polestar performance range. The monthly-payment packages include vehicle replacement every two years, servicing, insurance and tax. They also allow temporarily switching between similar vehicles during the contract.
An equivalent offer, called Canvas, was launched by Ford in California, with plans to pilot a similar offer for the maker’s Lincoln brand.
BMW rival Mercedes-Benz was also reported to be looking into a US subscription pilot earlier this year.
Other carmakers’ subscription offers include Porsche’s Passport and Cadillac’s Book programme.
In the UK, independent broker Wagonex provides subscriptions on a variety of models and makes, and also offers the possibility for dealerships to partner.
Wagonex chief executive Toby Kernon wrote on his blog in September: “We believe that the ownership of cars will soon become a thing of the past, so we are doing something about it.
“We are moving towards the world where people are no longer willing to compromise with the time and hassle it takes to look after a car.”