We all know Volvo makes some of the safest cars imaginable. They've been nicknamed "turbobricks" for a reason. But you might not know them as innovators in the field of car sharing. And no, I'm not talking about ride sharing like an Uber or Lyft.
Last year, Volvo took it upon themselves to announce and launch a subscription service for their cars. Basically, it's a service where you share the care with Volvo and don't outright own it. It's different from a lease where you never actually have any equity in the car at all (ie, no purchase option at the end of the term).
The first vehicle offered from Volvo in this subscription service is their gem of a small SUV, the XC40. The program, called "Care by Volvo," started in June of this year (2018). Volvo boasted that this program would be a hit. Many of us, myself included, thought it was a bit unreasonable to make that claim. Now, Volvo is proving me dead wrong.
According to Care by Volvo stats on subscriptions since the June launch, they have already sold more in the first four months than the company thought they'd sell in the first full year. That's hugely impressive, especially since this model has been used by other companies and had them fail spectacularly. Cadillac's car subscription service was $1,800/month, and has closed up operations after only one year.
Four months is not a lot of data, but it shows tremendous promise for Volvo's idea. The service for the base, T5 Momentum trim on the XC40 is $650 per month. Volvo's beautiful, brand new S60 R-design will also be available through Care by Volvo for $850 per month. This all sounds quite expensive, but the subscription comes with full maintenance coverage, a 24/7 concierge service to call for anything you may need, roadside assistance, and it even includes insurance. It's literally a one-shot package for anything you could need if you were purchasing a car. Even if you were to purchase and have $400 monthly payments with insurance and extended warranties all added up, the price makes a lot more sense.
If you want to subscribe to a car, which is still a strange concept to me, you'll have to wait nearly a year for your XC40 as the supply is not meeting the current demand. No word on when the S60 will be available for the service.
As far as DIY potential here, it's very low. With all that's being included in the subscription, it is pretty much buying a new car with a massive extended warranty. Let them handle the small stuff.
Is this something you'd be interested in with a new Volvo? With any other European brands? I want to hear what you think, so let me hear it in the comments!