Porsche launching subscriber program in Atlanta

Imagine you’re thinking about taking a relaxing drive in the mountains on a beautiful fall day.

You grab your smartphone, call up an application and in short order, a gleaming new convertible arrives at your location. The next day you need a luxury SUV to haul the kids to a soccer tournament. Hit the app and you get the vehicle.

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Sound incredible? Well, the folks at Porsche Cars North America, Inc., are testing such a program here in Atlanta beginning in November.

Called Porsche Passport, the German maker of high performance sports cars hopes Atlanta is the perfect market to capitalize on the growing trend of subscription-based services, especially in the automotive sector.

“We want customers to have access to our cars at their fingertips” said Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of Porsche Cars of North America. “[This program] gives customers peace of mind.”

Porsche Passport allows customers who want to experience the high-end cars to have on-demand access to up to 22 Porsche models, paying each month for the service. Customers apply and pay a one-time $500 activation fee before being given access to the Porsche Passport app.

With the app, a customer can order the type of car they want and have it delivered to them. The customer can exchange cars as many times as they want during that month.

The monthly payments include vehicle taxes and registration, insurance, and maintenance.

David Liniado, vice president of consumer mobility for Cox Automotive, says such programs are growing in popularity.

“We realized that consumer habits have shifted,” said Liniado. “There are new ways of vehicle ownership…meeting the customer where they want to be.”

Liniado said many consumers are being turned off by long-term bank loans and complicated lease agreements.

“The key for many consumers is flexibility,” he said, touting the success of Netflix as a model that can be used for other businesses.

Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises and subsidiary Cox Automotive has two pilot subscription models for mobility services that target very different market segments. Cox Automotive is a business unit of Cox Enterprises, owner of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

There are two subscription levels in the Porsche Passport program - Launch and Accelerate.

Under the Launch category, customers will pay $2,000 per month for access to eight models such as the 718, Boxster and Cayman S, as well as the Macan S and Cayenne.

For $3,000 per month, subscribers in the Accelerate level will have access to 22 Porsche models, including the 911 Carrera S, Panamera 4S sports sedan, Macan GTS and the Cayenne S E-Hybrid SUVs.

“I could see a movie director who is working here in Atlanta and is used to Porsche in California,” Zellmer said. “This would be seamless for him.”

He said Porsche hopes to sign up 50 people for its Passport program in Atlanta, and if it’s successful here, the company may roll it out in select locations across the country.

For more information about Porsche Passport, visit www.porschepassport.com or call 404-800-3173.

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