If you dream of owning a stable of automobiles but your budget doesn’t really lend itself to the lifestyles of the rich and famous, Cadillac may have a service for you.
Cadillac parent company General Motors wants to offer an option to car enthusiasts who are already spending a few dollars each month on things such as Netflix and Blue Apron. Back in January, GM launched Book by Cadillac, a “luxury vehicle subscription service” that the company says is ideal for drivers that don’t want to “worry about insurance premiums, taxes, maintenance or mileage restrictions and no long-term commitment.”
Since its launch at the beginning of the year, 5,000 people have signed up for Book by Cadillac. It’s currently only available in the New York City area, but the company has plans to expand the program to other parts of the country.
Membership is on a month-to-month basis, and for a one-time fee of $500 then $1500 each month, participants have access to 10 different current-year car models and can swap for a new one up to 18 times during the course of the year.
Users can select a new car through a dedicated app and there is apparently “a concierge who will manage the delivery experience for you, as well as be on hand if you have any questions or issues while driving.”
This isn’t the first time that GM has diversified beyond making and selling cars. Last year, it launched a car-sharing service called Maven and invested $500 million in ride-hailing startup Lyft.
Last month Bentley Motors reached out to me and asked if I’d like to experience driving its new 2017 Mulsanne, a car priced around $350,000 that conjures up those old Grey Poupon commercials as you drive through the English countryside.
Without hesitation I said yes and decided to make it a social experiment of sorts and the opportunity to take you "Behind the Brand" of one of the most luxurious brands on the planet.
I flew into San Francisco from LA for what would be an entire day experiencing the Bentley brand. Its tagline is BeExtrodinary, so I had high expectations.
As I exited the airport, there was a bright royal blue Mulsanne waiting for me at the curb, and I got in to drive. I could feel all eyes looking at me as people exited the airport to catch a cab or be picked up by friends. It as was if they were looking extra closely, maybe expecting Jay Z to be in the car with me.
I found it nearly impossible to hold back a smile every time I got behind the wheel. The Mulsanne is a ridiculously comfortable and fun car to drive. There are remote controlled pop-up monitors hidden in the back seats for passengers to watch movies. Every detail of fit and finish has been well thought out to enhance the driving experience.
I confess that I felt like a celebrity driving it. Kids pointed and asked if they could take selfies with me. Men in minivans gave thumbs up, and I got grins when I stopped at stoplights. Women of all ages were more talkative around me, and I got a lot of double-takes and friendly smiles from strangers. People were definitely nicer to me in general, from those at the gas station to people at the fast food drive-thru window.