Jeep is testing several car-sharing programs with the hopes that someone from the younger generation might one day be able to afford to buy one.
Jeep execs say it’s more about finding the right fit in the new sharing economy--y’know, the one where everything has gotten so expensive that younger generations cannot afford to own anything and instead are forced to rent from property owners. Some bearded guy might’ve had something to say about this state of affairs about a century ago, but he probably didn’t have Jeep Wrangler owners in mind.
According to several reports, Jeep is starting three pilot programs to see which one works best for them. The first is a 3-month program with startup Turo called “Peer-to-Peer”--or possibly “Jeep Freedom.” Turo says it’s Jeep Freedom, whereas Motor Authority calls it Peer-to-Peer.
Regardless of what it’s called, the service started in Boston last week and involves Jeep owners renting out their beloved off-roaders when they’re not using it. This will help owners “offset the cost of ownership entirely, or even turn a profit,” according to Turo.
Next up is a more traditional subscription service along the same lines as GM’s Maven or services from BMW or Mercedes. It’s a 3-month trial program where Jeep owners can trade in their Jeep and swap it with a Ram 1500 or a Dodge Challenger. The inventory is provided by Avis Budget Group and allows 6 swaps during those three months.
We don’t have a name for the subscription program, but we know that it also started in Boston last week and was capped at the first 100 people to sign up.
A third program called “Car Borrowing” is also starting in Boston. This program provides Jeep owners with 6 “Jeep Coins” that allows them to swap their Jeep for other Fiat Chrysler vehicles for one day. The coins last for a year, and the swapped cars can either be delivered or picked up at the driver’s request.
Once again, the inventory for FCA vehicles is provided by Avis.
While a very profitable brand for Jeep, it’s unclear just how well received these programs will be. Jeep has a very specific clientele that would probably prefer to own rather than loan or swap. We’ll have to wait until the spring for more info on how these pilots went.