Porsche experiments with subscription pricing, expands to Los Angeles

Porsche is rolling out a less expensive subscription plan in four U.S. cities as the German automaker experiments with different pricing and products in an effort to expand its customer base.

Porsche now has three plans, or tiers, that are all housed under its newly rebranded Porsche Drive vehicle subscription program. This new plan, called Porsche Drive-single vehicle subscription, squeezes in between two other existing tiers.

The most robust plan is Porsche Drive – Multi-Vehicle Subscription, which offers customers the ability to swap through a variety of vehicles on a monthly basis. The multi-vehicle plan costs $2,100 or $3,100 a month, depending on whether the customer wants access to its high-performance models like the 911. Then there’s Porsche Drive – Rental, which as the name indicates, offers shorter-term rentals. The price of the rental depends on the vehicle and starts at about $245 daily for the Macan to $2,415 for weekly use of a 911.

The new single-vehicle plan is less expensive than the multi-vehicle plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. The single-vehicle plan starts at $1,500 a month for the Macan and pops all the way up to $2,600 a month for the Porsche 911. All of the plans require a $595 activation fee unless a customer commits to the single-vehicle plan for at least three months.

Notably, no amount of money will get customers access to the all-electric Porsche Taycan. It’s the one vehicle not available in any of the plans.

This middle tier single-vehicle subscription program will be offered to customers in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Diego. Customers who opt for this plan will have access to a single Porsche model for one or three months, beginning September 25. Like the other Porsche Drive programs, the monthly fee for the single-vehicle plan covers the vehicle, delivery, insurance and service.

The subscription program, formerly known as Passport, was first launched in 2017 in Atlanta. During the pilot, the average subscription has been about four months. The most common reason customers suspended their membership was because of extended travel plans, according to the company. The initial aim was to build a new customer base of Porsche owners by offering a product that was flexible. It attracted enough interest that Porsche expanded the program to several other important U.S. markets, such as Phoenix and San Diego. Now, it’s pushing into Los Angeles.

“If California were a country, it would be our fifth-largest market in the world. After bringing Porsche Drive to San Diego last summer, Los Angeles was an obvious choice to allow customers to experience a variety of Porsche sports cars and SUVs at the touch of an app. Now, in addition to our Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles track, LA residents or those visiting LA have another way to enjoy a Porsche,” said Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of PCNA.

Porsche contends that data shows the subscription program has been successful. The company said 80% of participants have been new to Porsche, many are younger than the average age for current Porsche buyers or lessees and more than one-third enroll for at least four months. Porsche said it added the single-vehicle option based on data that show some members prefer to stay in one model instead of switching vehicles.

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