Cadillac was one of the first automakers to offer a subscription service in the United States when it launched Book by Cadillac last year.
Since then, subscription services have blossomed and other automakers have followed suit. In the past year, we’ve seen the launch of Access by BMW, the Mercedes-Benz Collection and Porsche Passport. Porsche is so enamored with the idea it recently launched two other pilot programs aimed at short-term rentals.
While Cadillac was one of the first to embrace subscriptions, it appears the brand will also be one of the first to get rid of them. Citing “people briefed on the plan,” The Wall Street Journal is reporting Book by Cadillac will wind down by the end of this year.
While it’s natural to assume the subscription service wasn’t popular enough to justify its continued existence, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Instead, the report says there were “snags with the back-end technology used to support the service” which raised costs for the automaker while also making customer service “tedious and time consuming.”
In essence, it sounds like the service showed promise but the technology wasn’t up to snuff. A spokesperson who talked to the paper even suggested the service could eventually return sometime in the future.
Unfortunately, the shutdown of Book by Cadillac will likely put users in a bind. According to the paper, people will be given a notice that the service is ending and then be given 30 days to return their vehicle.
While Book by Cadillac might be going away, GM appears to have big plans for subscription services in the future. Earlier this year, it trademarked the DriveScription name for what is believed to be a subscription service which wouldn’t be exclusive to Cadillac.
At the time, we reached out to General Motors but never heard back. We still haven’t heard much about the rumored service, but it is possible that the company’s DriveScription could eventually replace Book by Cadillac. Of course, that remains to be seen.