Dealers mobilize to protect their margins from automaker subscription services – Autoblog

Six individual auto brands — Lincoln, Cadillac, Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and Volvo — have established or are trialing a vehicle subscription service in the U.S. Three third-party companies — Flexdrive, Clutch and Carma — run brand-agnostic subscription services. And three automakers — Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and General Motors — have also launched short-term rental services. Dealers, afraid of how these trends might affect their margins, are building political and lawmaking campaigns to protect their revenue streams. So far, three states are investigating automaker subscriptions, and Indiana has banned any such service until next year.

It’s certain that those three states are the first fronts in a long political and legal battle. Powerful dealer franchise laws mandate the existence of dealers and restrict how automakers are allowed to interact with customers to sell a vehicle. On top of that, ... read more at: