Lexus willing to wait on subscriptions

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LOS ANGELES – Lexus is not in a hurry to run a brand program for the entire vehicle, but is open to extending an all-inclusive short-term lease after testing on its new UX small crossover.

Subscription programs in the industry are in the experimental phase, with luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, BMW and Volvo that test different formats and service layers. In the meantime, Cadillac stopped his Cadillac subscription experiment book in November, when subscribers' roles declined, with plans to revive next year.

As long as the payouts remain unclear, Lexus will not "panic and jump in just jump in," said Cooper Ericksen, vice president of marketing at Lexus.

"I think there are a lot of unanswered questions about how to take a depreciating asset and a revenue model that's good for the consumer and good for the long-term brand," he told Automotive News on the Los Angeles sideline. Auto Show.

Besides, he said, Lexus dealers and customers do not really care about it, although some dealership groups launch their own programs on multiple brands.

"The most consistent feedback we get from dealers on the idea of ​​subscriptions is:" Please do not take away the ability to have this one-to-one relationship with a guest, we appreciate that and we want to keep that, "" he said.

"Some brands take the Tier 1 approach to" We will take care of everything, and you deliver the vehicle ", and I do not think this is a road that we will strike," Ericksen said.

That said, Lexus continues to explore alternatives to traditional ownership or leasing, such as the Lexus Complete Lease pilot program that will be offered on the UX in certain markets. It combines a two-year lease, 20,000 miles with insurance, maintenance, tire and wheel protection and telematics services in one payment, where dealers determine the final price.

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"It comes down to a sense of comfort," Ericksen said. "It is not necessarily a way for a guest to pay less for their car or less for their insurance, it is a way for them to have an easier way to have transport that is simpler and less time-consuming and less stressful is. "

The younger demographic audience of the UX makes the Complete Lease a good match, said Ericksen, because those consumers are more accustomed to subscription-based services and packages in other industries, and they are less inclined than Lexus' traditional customers to have long-term relationships with an insurance agent or supplier.

But the convenience of a single payment can easily be sold in demographic groups. "We do this with the idea that we would expand it on other models on the road if guests see it as an advantage," Ericksen said.