Genesis starts by-the-month car subscriptions

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Genesis starts by-the-month car subscriptions

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Genesis launched a subscription service in Korea Thursday in which subscribers can rent a G70, G80, G80 Sport or G90 for 1.49 million won ($1,330) per month. [HYUNDAI MOTOR]

Hyundai Motor luxury brand Genesis is starting a car subscription service, the first such effort by a domestic automaker in Korea.

The company Thursday announced its Genesis Spectrum program. Under the program, subscribers can drive Genesis vehicles - including the G70, G80, G80 Sport and G90 - for 1.49 million won ($1,330) per month. The service is in collaboration with domestic rental-car companies and Hyundai Capital’s Deal Car.

The fleet of available cars includes the 2018 G70 3.3 Sports Supreme, the G80 3.3 Premium Luxury, the 2019 G80 Sports 3.3T Premium Luxury and G90 3.8 Premium Luxury. The provided cars are relatively new, with fewer than 10,000 kilometers (6,213 miles) of accumulated driving, according to the carmaker. For those using the G70, G80 and G80 vehicles, cars can be switched twice a month. The G90 is available to subscribers only for test driving 48 hours a month.

Subscribers will not have to pay any maintenance costs, including after-sales service and the purchase of replacement parts. They will have to renew their subscription every month, but no fee is charged for early termination of membership. The program offers pick-up and delivery in Seoul as long as the vehicles are reserved three days in advance.

“Genesis has been researching opportunities our brand could offer customers,” an official at Genesis said. “One of the results of the survey is a subscription program, which is globally emerging as trend.”

Genesis added that the subscription service will allow the brand to collect data about its customers and drivers, such as preferred models for certain age groups and car replacement cycles.

While subscription services for cars are a global phenomenon, as fewer people opt for ownership, the concept hasn’t taken off in Korea yet.

Hyundai Motor’s finance affiliate Hyundai Capital America has already launched a subscription service in the United States called Hyundai PLUS, where subscribers can use the Sonata, Tucson, Santa Fe and other models for a monthly fee. Other carmakers have been offering subscriptions in certain markets. Porsche runs Porsche Passport, Mercedes-Benz has Benz Collection and BMW has Access by BMW.

Swedish carmaker Volvo recently started Care By Volvo, and has rolled out its “Don’t Buy This Car” campaign to promote the new service.

“Subscription services are suitable especially for younger people who want to enjoy a diverse range of driving experiences while avoiding the financial burden of buying the car and then maintaining it,” said Kim Pil-soo, an automotive engineering professor at Daelim University.

The Mini brand launched a subscription service in partnership with connected-car platform Epikar last month in Korea. Its membership fee is 1.79 million won, but it charges more depending on which model the customer wants to drive.

The Genesis service started Thursday and will run for 10 months.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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