Mitsubishi Motors Corp. intends to let other manufacturers and auto lenders experiment in the car subscription space before stepping in to offer its own product, Don Swearingen, chief operating officer and executive vice president told Auto Finance News.
“We’ve started looking into [subscriptions] but clearly to me, it’s on the luxury side of things because the cost of these different models reaches $1,200, $1,500, and $1,800 a month,” Swearingen said. “We have a very young buyer and I think those kinds of costs don’t fit in with our demographic.”
Ally Financial Inc. is the captive lender for Mitsubishi Motors North America.
Last year, captives and dealership groups began experimenting with subscription programs that include insurance, maintenance, lease payments, and often the ability to swap out vehicles, for an all-in-one monthly price. Manufacturers such as Cadillac, Ford, Lincoln, Porsche, and Volvo have all launched or announced programs in this mold with Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz expected to follow suit later this year.
However, Swearingen doesn’t believe Mitsubishi’s fleet is ready for that just yet.
“Until we broaden our product lineup [subscriptions aren’t] a good product for us, but I see it for the future,” he said. “We’ll see who succeeds and who fails and then follow the ones who succeed.”
The OEM added to its product lineup last month with the introduction of the Eclipse Cross SUV, which is being marketed this season to a newer, younger audience Swearingen said. As a member of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, Mitsubishi is also taking the lead on plug-in hybrids as part of its diversification efforts while Nissan focuses on fully electric cars, he added.
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