Audi Select Challenges Long-standing Models of Car Ownership, Leasing

Photo Courtesy of Car and Driver

Got to say, I love this idea. Audi is experimenting with a shared vehicle program where customers have access to several Audi models and rotate among them every 12 months. Essentially, you are in a lease, but not locked into the same vehicle for 3-plus years.

Photo Courtesy of Car and Driver

Photo Courtesy of Car and Driver

The concept makes the auto maker more than just an auto maker. With this program, Audi is more like a mobility provider, which brings up a lot of curiosity for me because a shift like this could effectively transform the future of the auto maker-dealer business.

With people (like me) that travel a lot, I often need a vehicle in different cities. Renting a car is fine, but that’s an added cost. How convenient would it be if I could check out a vehicle from a local dealer for days (or weeks, or months) and always be in the vehicle brand I own? For this trip I need a sedan, for next weekend I need an SUV, yada yada yada, you get the idea.

Of course, the dealers and the auto makers have to make money so something like this could be more costly to consumers than just renting as needed, which is why it may only work in the luxury realm with wealthier customers, but the concept is exciting nonetheless. In time as the concept sticks and evolves, the features and benefits to vehicle owners will be there.

About the Author

Ryan Jeffrey Gerardi
Ryan Jeffrey Gerardi is Chief Editor of AutoConverse Magazine and Executive Producer and Host of the AutoConverse Podcast and Live Weekly Webcast called the Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show, or MTC Show. He is also Founder & President of AutoConversion with nearly 20 years experience in the transportation space. Ryan concentrates his efforts today on exploring people, ideas, and technologies related to how we get around and how we are connected, being a father and studying Taoism and Wu Wei.