A number of premium automakers have embraced subscription services, but Lexus is one of the major holdouts.
Lexus is currently the third best-selling luxury automaker in the United States, but it hasn’t offered a rival to Access by BMW or the Mercedes-Benz Collection. Both programs start under $1,100 (£864 / €968) a month and give users access to a number of different models including the i3, X3 and 3-Series as well as the CLA, GLC and C-Class.
It remains unclear how successful these programs have been and Lexus isn’t too eager to find out. As the company’s vice president of marketing, Cooper Ericksen, told Automotive News, they’re not going to “jump in just to jump in.”
As Ericksen explained, “I think there’s a lot of unanswered questions about how you take a depreciating asset and have a revenue model that is good for the consumer and good for the brand over the long term of that asset.” He went on to say customers and dealers aren’t demanding a subscription service and the latter group wants to keep its one-on-one relationship with customers instead of being reduced to middle men.
While Lexus isn’t embracing traditional subscription services, the company will test the waters when it launches the 2019 UX later this month. According to the publication, the automaker will offer a Lexus Complete Lease in select markets where buyers can get a two year / 20,000 mile (32,186 km) lease on the UX for a price set by the dealer. While that doesn’t sound too unusual, the lease will also include insurance, maintenance and telematics.
If the program is successful, it could eventually be offered on other Lexus models. Of course, that remains to be seen and the program doesn’t have the benefit of fixed prices or the ability to swap out vehicles on demand like traditional subscription services.