GM’s Cadillac brand launches on-demand vehicle service

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.’s Cadillac brand is launching a new luxury vehicle subscription service called BOOK by Cadillac that gives paying members on-demand access to Cadillac cars and SUVs.

The first-of-its-kind serviceis launching Feb. 1 in the New York metro area with plans to follow in other U.S. markets, Cadillac said Thursday. It will cost $1,500 a month.

“BOOK by Cadillac is an innovative new option targeted at a growing class of luxury drivers searching for access to various cars over time, dependent on their individual needs, coupled with a hassle-free white-glove exchange,” Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

Cadillac spokesman Eneuri Acosta said the luxury brand believes there is demand for a service like this as it differs from other ride-sharing and car-sharing services. Cadillac ran a pilot program in New York in summer and fall 2016. Members keep the car at all times and can switch when they want, such as by the week or month, based on their needs and desire.

“Members can just as easily take to the winding roads in a performance V Series and enjoy a back-mountain winter ski trip in an Escalade in the same week,” Cadillac said in a statement. “Alternatively, they can keep an SUV during the winter months and switch to a performance sedan during the summer, with each vehicle picked up and delivered to their doorstep.”

Some luxury carmarkers are offering somewhat similar services. Audi on Demand makes available daily rentals in San Francisco, which can be reserved through a smartphone app. It offers SUVs, sedans, convertibles and coupes, which are delivered and picked up by a concierge. It allows rentals for up to 28 days.

Cadillac said membership is month-to-month and the fee includes vehicle maintenance, insurance and vehicle detailing. Mileage is unlimited and members will pay a $500 one-time sign-up fee. Background checks on driving records will be conducted.

GM’s luxury brand says the service will give members the freedom and flexibility that they don’t traditionally have with car ownership or leasing. Cadillac says members will be able to use a smartphone app to request current model-year Platinum trim level Cadillac vehicles. All Cadillac vehicles will be available and include the popular XT5 crossover, CT6 sedan, Escalade and V Series performance cars that will be delivered to them.

Cadillac said vehicles will be delivered to requested locations and exchanged when the member wants something different.

Acosta said Cadillac is not revealing other markets it will bring the service to or when.

mburden@detroitnews.com

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