Why dream of one Mercedes-Benz, if you can have an entire fleet
»Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?« once sang Janis Joplin. Today, she would probably ask for a Mercedes-Benz Collection subscription.
»If you are one of those people who is attached to your car, it is about time to change the way you’re thinking,« Robert Lešnik, the design director of the German giant Mercedes-Benz, said recently.
Lešnik had in mind the changes brought about by electrification, autonomous driving and the sharing economy. The luxury vehicle manufacturer from Stuttgart, however, is already making its prediction of the end of car ownership a reality across the pond, with a service called Mercedes-Benz Collection. It is intended for all enthusiasts of four-wheeled luxury, who, in addition to the star on the bonnet, especially want flexibility - or just envious looks of passers-by.
Mercedes-Benz Collection is a subscription service that offers users easy swapping between various models of the world's largest luxury car manufacturer. On sunny days, the wind will blow through your hair, while you enjoy the comfort of leather seats in the latest convertible. And the next day you can swap it for a robust SUV that offers greater visibility and comfort on the road, or an estate with the largest storage on the market that ensures enough space for a weekend camping trip with your family.
For »your« Mercedes-Benz fleet you will pay from one to three thousand dollars per month, depending on the prestige of the cars included.
Mobile life per month is a novelty in the automotive market, adopted and tested by all the major players in the industry, from Porsche, Audi and BMW, to Volvo, Jaguar, Jeep, and others. They’re all aiming at their own market segment, while the basic idea that connects them is a departure from traditional ownership constraints. These include limitations related to capacity and spaciousness of a particular car, as well as wasting time and money on tyres, mechanics and at car washes.
Mercedes-Benz Collection members no longer have to deal with these inconveniences. For $1,095 a month, they can forget about arranging insurance, servicing, changing tyres, and just enjoy driving their selected Mercedes.
By subscribing and paying a one-time membership fee of $495, each member gets a new car with a full tank of fuel and an account administrator whose task is to provide all logistics related to car swapping. When a member opts for a new car, they can simply order it on a mobile application and the administrator delivers it to the desired address, usually the following day.
The selection is extremely diverse. Members of the basic Signature package, available for $1,095 per month to residents of the US city of Nashville, can get behind the wheel of a Saloon, a Coupe or C 300 Convertible, SLC 300 Roadster convertible, the more powerful AMG CLA 45, or the all-terrain GLC 300 SUV and GLC 300 Coupe versions.
At the moment, Mercedes-Benz offers its subscription to customers in Philadelphia and Nashville. However, if the service is successful, it will most likely soon be available elsewhere.
The Reserve package costs $1,595 per month and is available in Nashville as well as in Philadelphia. It offers the comfort of larger and more prestigious cars such as the E series and also the GLE 350 and AMG GLC 43 SUVs.
The Premier package is available only in Philadelphia for those who still want more. For $2,995 a month, the sky is the limit. Members can brag with the following cars on their driveways: the AMG C 63 S in Saloon and Coupe versions or AMG E 63 S, the luxury S 560, SL 550 Roadster, AMG GLE 63 S, GLS 550 and G 550 Classics with a purchase price exceeding $100,000.
Why have only one Mercedes-Benz, if you can have the entire fleet at your fingertips. Janis Joplin really wanted a Mercedes-Benz and a colour TV, but this was years ago. Today she would have probably wanted a subscription to Mercedes-Benz Collection and, for example, Netflix.