Subscription services have largely been relegated to smartphones, streaming platforms and other services, yet the idea has started to trickle into the big, bad car-buying world. A handful of (mostly luxury) automakers have tossed their hats into the ring, but now perhaps Mazda is thinking about such a move.
It would appear so, according to comments from the company's managing director in the UK. Autocar quoted Jeremy Thomson in a Tuesday report saying there's been some "early thinking" surrounding a subscription service, and Mazda thinks there's a place for it in the future. This is, of course, with reference to the UK -- a far smaller auto market than the US by a large measure.
In any case, the triumph or failure of a subscription service in the UK could perhaps provide insight into whether a similar service might work for the US. Mazda didn't immediately respond when asked about any early thoughts for a US program.
Thomson cited younger car buyers as a reason for the early thinking around a. He said these buyers often enjoy a "simpler" way to navigate car ownership, including how to swap into a new one. Numerous pilot subscription services usually give subscribers a way to switch cars within a certain time frame at least once.
In the case of, perhaps the most bold service in the US currently, the program provides a car, insurance, maintenance and the ability to change vehicles after the annual period is up. If you do want to swap into a different Volvo ahead of time, that's allowed, but the clock resets on your year-long subscription.
It's not clear how a brand like Mazda, which, even as it plays in a more premium space these days, is not a luxury brand, would handle such a program. It could follow Care by Volvo's pattern, or perhaps divvy cars into tiers for people to subscribe to. In any case, it sounds like such a service, if it happens, is still a ways out.