The idea is simple: rather than buying one Cadillac that best suits your needs year-to-year, for a monthly subscription fee, members can instead switch between different models, from sporty coupés to roomy SUVs as and when their lifestyle demands, day-to-day.
“Book by Cadillac is an innovative new option targeted at a growing class of luxury drivers searching for access to various cars over time, dependent on their individual needs, coupled with a hassle-free white-glove exchange,” said Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac chief marketing officer.
When the service launches in New York, members will pay a monthly subscription fee of $1,500 and will be able to select the car they want via an app. Every model offered will be a current model year example and in the highest specification Platinum trim.
Mileage is unlimited as is the length of the subscription. People will be under no obligation to sign up and pay for long-term membership.
Since 2015, Audi has been testing a similar service called Audi On Demand, in San Francisco. However, it differs in one big respect, it is closer to a traditional car rental service with concierge delivery and collection, though users can select exactly what type of Audi they need and where it should be delivered to. They can also specify child seats, ski racks and bike racks on certain models.
Cadillac’s approach is to treat users as owners, with the car of their choice permanently in their possession until they decide that it’s sunny enough for a convertible, or icy enough to warrantusing an SUV.
As well as announcing Book by Cadillac, the firm on Thursday revealed that 2016 has been a record year for sales. Its grand total of 308,692 cars for the calendar year is an 11% increase on 2015 and its best single year since 1986.
In particular, its new models are finding fans in China where there has been a 45.9% increase in demand over the past 12 months and is now comfortably the marque’s second biggest market after the US.
“It was a stunning year for Cadillac’s global growth in 2016,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “Drawing more customers than any year in the past 30 is an excellent springboard for the robust product offensive from Cadillac in the coming years.