At a recent all-hands company gathering, we welcomed the team running AmeriDrive, Florida Fine Cars’ car subscription program. Launching in the Flexdrive marketplace a couple months ago, Florida Fine Cars spoke with our team about the dealer and consumer experience.
It’s always interesting to me when you have a dealer of high capacity and resolve who looks to disrupt their own business model. As a point of reference, Florida Fine Cars follows the American dream. An immigrant family comes to America and starts a used car dealership with ONE car. Over the last 25 years, this one-car-dealership has grown into one of the top 50 used car dealerships in the U.S. I find it incredibly interesting that they see subscription as an opportunity to enhance their business model in an effort to acquire new consumers and vehicles.
During the presentation the AmeriDrive team (the subscription brand Florida Fine Cars launched), spoke about the interesting dynamics in South Florida. Take this example: you might see someone living in a smaller, basic house, but the car out front is a canary yellow Maserati. Status matters when it comes to cars there and offering car subscriptions has opened new doors for people in South Florida to consume cars in different ways, without breaking the bank or being married to one vehicle for years.
When you really think about, the traditional model of ownership typically involves a loan for consumers. I’d argue that isn’t really ownership…the bank is the owner. This sentiment was echoed by the AmeriDrive team during the presentation. But, let’s pull the thread even further. The bank still wins out in this scenario over the dealer, who gets one initial payment that continues to shrink.
But even so, I have to ask myself, why would an extremely successful dealership branch out? The answer is why I joined Flexdrive in the first place. In all my years of retail ops, I don’t know of a better solution set—car subscription—that engages the consumer, increases the margins with recurring revenue and allows for minimizing operational disruption in a dealership.
And that’s just the dealer side. I’ll quote Carlos Hernandez, president of the AmeriDrive program as he put it best when it comes to the consumer piece.
“With subscription, people feel that they’re in control and not at the mercy of the dealership. The consumer can pick everything they want…color of the car, interior, features, THE car they want…with Flexdrive, you’re getting THE car, not A car.”
Thanks to the AmeriDrive team for the time and energy…a cutting-edge, incredibly bright crew for sure.