German carmaker BMW is piloting a monthly subscription service, which will let drivers get access to a fleet of cars, whether they feel like driving a 5-series sedan to the office or using a faster M2 coupe for the weekend.
The $2,000 fee (plus a $575 joining cost) includes delivery by a concierge, use of the car, insurance, roadside assistance, maintenance and unlimited switches between models.
Currently available only in Nashville, Tennessee, drivers can order a car via an Access By BMW app. A second tier, for $3,700 a month gives access to the powerful M-series. Buying a top-of-the-range 2018 BMW M5 Sedan all-wheel-drive would cost more than $110,000, according to the BMW of Nashville website.
"Subscription-based services are of emerging interest for our customers, and we're excited to be offering a mobility service to meet their individual and evolving needs," said Ian Smith, CEO of BMW Group Financial Services USA, in an online statement.
Traditional car sales are under pressure, with sales expected to drop this year. Vehicle manufacturing, like other sectors, is being disrupted: Technology that makes it easier to get from A to B, the so-called mobility industry, has seen huge investment over the past few years. A November report by McKinsey showed that $110 billion has been invested in mobility start-ups and technologies since 2010. More than half of that has been invested in car-sharing and autonomous driving.
Porsche launched its own two-tier subscription service in Atlanta last November, with a top price of $3,000. Its CEO for North America, Klaus Zellmer, told told CNBC's Phil LeBeau that it is engaging a younger-than-expected audience.
"We're conquesting a target group, and engaging them with a brand, who do not want to commit to a three-year lease. They just want to go month-by-month and are willing to spend for that," Zellmer told LeBeau at the New York International Auto Show.
BMW's pilot starts this week and the group expects the service to be available at dealerships nationwide in future.