Car manufacturers are offering subscription services and dealerships are pissed

It is Wednesday, January 30, 2019. In case you forgot.
Lease and desist

Not your parents car lease

In an appeal to younger drivers (who aren’t thrilled about car ownership), car manufacturers like Volvo, BMW, Audi and Ford have started piloting car subscription services.

These services are similar to a car lease but with less commitment and more perks. They all offer some variation of a flexible subscription term that includes insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance. It’s essentially the IPhone upgrade program with AppleCare for cars.


Pump the brakes

This month a car dealership trade group in California filed a petition to halt Volvo’s subscription service, claiming that it is in violation of state laws that prohibit dealer-manufacturer competition.  

Car dealerships are concerned that these new manufacturer direct-to-consumer subscriptions will cut them out of the equation. But wait, aren’t car dealerships and manufacturers on the same team?  

Dealership or no deal

Not exactly. Car dealerships are privately owned businesses that operate a near-monopoly on car sales in most states. They have extensive political clout and have lobbied for laws that bar manufacturers from selling cars directly to consumers.

Dealerships see this new subscription product as a loophole for car manufacturers to go behind their backs.  

Tesla charging in hot

These car subscription services aren’t the only innovation ruffling feathers the auto sales industry. Tesla has been facing off with dealer trade groups for years over the right to sell its cars online and through manufacturer-owned stores.  

Frustratingly for Tesla, many states haven’t budged on the issue and limit or deny the company’s efforts to open stores. In response, Tesla has opened “showrooms” in those states where potential buyers can learn about the cars but cannot discuss purchasing.  

Regulatory limitations aside, the status quo of auto sales and leasing is ripe for disruption. Car dealerships are notorious for poor customer service experiences, leaving room for new startups and manufacturers to find better ways to get customers behind the wheel.
Hot Job!
Flexport is a freight forwarder that provides a tracking platform and end-to-end service for logistics teams. For example, Ring (the smart doorbell) uses Flexport to make sure everything runs smoothly during their product’s shipment from manufacturer to distribution center. 

Check the job board for open roles.
Latest Podcast

Episode #6 - Laurence Hall, Sales Representative at Newsela

In our latest episode, we interview Laurence Hall. Laurence is a good friend and experienced tech sales guru. Laurence is a Sales Representative at Newsela. Newsela is an education tech startup dedicated to transforming the way students learn and improving literacy rates around the world.

In our conversation, we discuss what to look for in a good sales organization and what skills are vital to being a great salesperson. We also dove into philosophy, martial arts, and making the tough transition from college life to the real world.
Apple Podcasts
Slack off with us
We pretty much live in Slack. Join the conversation and weigh in on our heated debate about the best flavor of La Croix. You know, pivotal tech stuff.
sharing is caring
Love what you see? Spread the good word and get some free career advice.*|EMAIL|*

If you get five friends to signup for the newsletter via your personalized referral link we'll review your resume and give you feedback. Check how many referrals you've made here
Yours truly,
Zac Cherin
Brendan Uyeshiro
Brendan Uyeshiro