Volvo Is Trying To Stop People From Actually Buying Its Cars

As hard as it may be to believe, Volvo has just commenced a campaign that’s trying to persuade consumers to not purchase its vehicles.

Why is that? Because it wants new customers to use the Care by Volvo subscription program instead of purchasing them outright.

In Germany, Volvo has launched an advertisement campaign that reads “Don’t buy this car. Subscribe to it.” To say that’s a bold message would be an understatement, but of all car manufacturers experimenting with subscriptions, Volvo is perhaps the best poised to make it work.

In the land of Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Volvo offers its subscription service for as little as €498 ($561) a month for the new XC40. Included in the subscription cost is insurance, taxes, roadside assistance and various other services, such as the storage of winter tires. For German customers wanting a mid-size luxury SUV, a new XC90 can be picked up in range-topping specification for €929 ($1052) per month, Bloomberg reports.

However, subscribing to a new Volvo isn’t without its downsides. Most importantly, a subscription is more expensive than leasing. Actually, it’s considerably most expensive, at roughly 40 per cent more. Additionally, only a minority of German consumers say they’re actually willing to subscribe to a vehicle. In the United States, just 14 per cent are keen on automotive subscriptions, according to a recent survey by management consultant Oliver Wyman.

Early data from the Care by Volvo service reveals that it is doing a good job in getting younger people into the brand’s models. During U.S. testing of the service, the average age was 40 years old, a decade younger than the brand’s usual customers.

It remains to be seen how sustainable subscription programs like Volvo’s will be in the long term, but the carmaker clearly thinks it’s on a winner.

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  • pcurve

    It wasn’t a bad deal when it cost $600 for XC40, especially if you lived in area with expensive insurance. But they jacked up the price to $650 a few months ago. And now to $700 for the cheapest subscription XC40. Yeah no thanks Volvo! Maybe if you also threw in gas!

    Personally I don’t see this lasting. It attracts people with bad driving record, or those that live in high insurance premium areas. Good drivers or those from cheaper states essentially end up subsidizing.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    There is no justification whatsoever to pay that amount of money monthly for services you only use occasionally unless you plan to change car all the time. It is much better to buy it and keep it. Many users will never spend 498 Euros a month of extra services, even less in Gas in many places. It is, in fact, a rip off.

  • Stephen G

    WOW! A company wants you to purchase one product that makes them a crap load more money than their other product? What is the world coming to?

  • ksegg

    lol subscriptions.

    It’s all become ridiculous now. Everything is a subscription.

    I’m going to subscribe to a few girlfriends now, brb.

  • KareKakk

    How long will each car be available for subscription? Will the price go down as the car gets older? Will Volvo finally offer each subscribed car to buy for anyone on the 2nd hand market, or will the cars be under subscription for the next 20 years for the mentioned €498 or more, until the cars fall apart?

  • KidRed

    Vovlo doesn’t understand that US customers can get insurance discounts when they bundle home and auto insurance. They need to offer the ability to NOT have insurance included in the subscription.

    • KareKakk

      It’s Volvo that owns the car, not the subscribers, so Volvo themselves are responsible for choosing the insurance they find best suited.

      • Salih Ahzem

        They use Liberty Mutual in the US.

    • Wandering_Spirit

      It is not just in the US. They do not understand that people can’t be enslaved through subscriptions. It comes from the software model where they expect you to pay a subscription for everything. Even for stuff you use ten times in a year. Make a sum of all the subscriptions and you are basically living for corporations and use things that are never yours.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Exactly so.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    My fear is that once they get used to subscriptions they will make “traditional” methods very very very unconvenient for the user to steer them towards subscriptions. That said, i had to stop buying a lot of software because of this. Cars are the same, just on a macroscopic scale.

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