Car rental industry leader to increase flexibility with new vehicle subscription program
Enterprise Holdings is diversifying how it will put its customers behind the wheel of their vehicles by introducing a vehicle subscription service. The company, which made the announcement Wednesday from its St. Louis headquarters, said the decision was made after looking at several opportunities to compete with the changing car rental landscape. The service is expected to be activated by the summer.
“The name of the game in ground transportation today is more access, more flexibility and more convenience – whether it’s for an hour, a day, a week or longer,” said Randal Narike, Executive Vice President of Operations for Enterprise Holdings.
While Enterprise is probably the first major car rental company to introduce vehicular subscriptions, they trail automakers like Audi, Cadillac, Ford, General Motors and Volvo who have been offering this service for several months. Additionally, technology offered by the likes of Carma Care, Clutch and Flexdrive are providing incentives for other companies to jump onto the subscription bandwagon.
Enterprise will offer the service on a monthly basis to clientele, although the fees and rates were not divulged. It will allow consumers to swap out their rides for up to four times monthly. It will also offer customers such additional features as coverage for physical car damage and liability, maintenance, registration, roadside assistance and access to Sirius radio stations. That same fee will enable subscribers to choose from six vehicle classes, including full-size and premium sedans as well as small and mid-sized SUVs and trucks. In all, Enterprise customers using the service will get access to around 20 different makes and models of vehicles.
Enterprise plans to roll out the service in three U.S. states for now and will monitor its progress on how consumers take to subscriptions. Pending on results of this stage of the rollout, the service will slowly expand across the rest of the country. Enterprise will also evaluate the impact of its digital apps and examine how developments in artificial intelligence and autonomous technology can be applied to the subscription model. To that end, Enterprise also bought out mobile and cloud software provider Deem and previously announced a joint venture with autonomous driving technology provider Voyage to outfit its fleet with driverless amenities in the future.
“Enterprise Holdings continues to succeed in the highly competitive mobility sector because we understand how and where customer service and innovation intersect,” Narike said. “Introducing new programs like vehicle subscription is just one more example of that mindset.”
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