Virginia-based Duncan Automotive Network is the latest dealership to move forward with a partnership with Flexdrive, a car subscription technology and services company that enables dealers and fleet owners to offer on-demand car subscriptions to consumers via mobile devices.
A joint venture between Cox Automotive and fleet management company ARI, Flexdrive was selected as the car subscription platform of choice by Duncan to meet growing demand in the Virginia market for more flexibility when it comes to “owning” a car. The dealer group sees numerous students each year in need of a car for their time studying at Virginia Tech and other colleges. Whether international students or from the West Coast, the rural areas in Virginia can be difficult to navigate without a car.
“International students and ones from across the country face numerous barriers when obtaining a car and ultimately getting rid of it at the end of their studies. Instead of buying or leasing, car subscription is the perfect fit because of its flexibility, convenience and affordability,” said Gary Duncan, one of the owners of family-run Duncan Automotive Network. “As we continue to strengthen our dealer business and what we bring to customers, we know Flexdrive is the right partner to help us navigate a new era for dealerships with car subscriptions as a first step.”
According to Virginia Tech, approximately 30 percent of its graduate students come from outside of the United States. However, the attractiveness of car subscriptions is not unique to that demographic. Changing consumer sentiments on vehicle ownership and an increasing desire for flexibility and convenience in every aspect of life is aiding car subscription in taking hold. Furthering the trend is the increasing financial risk in owning a car as consumers face higher monthly payments and longer loan terms.
As for dealers, car subscriptions offer a competitive differentiator, opportunity for recurring revenue and means to move into the mobility movement.
“The appeal for car subscription continues to increase as do the use cases where no alternatives outside of buying, leasing or renting exist. Duncan’s starting point with international students—or anyone visiting from abroad for an extended period of time—is thoughtful and needed in the market,” said Stephane Ferri, Flexdrive’s head of strategic development. “Beyond meeting the current market need, we look forward to helping another progressive dealer, like Duncan, implement a subscription program that proves profitable out of the gate.”
Flexdrive’s app-based consumer marketplace will enable the dealership to connect with consumers in the surrounding areas and showcase available subscription cars. An analytics-driven, subscription dealer management platform will enable Duncan to effectively manage and optimize its fleet of subscription cars. Consumers can apply, register and select the exact car they wish to drive within a matter of minutes from their mobile device.
Duncan Automotive Network, which consistently receives awards such as CarGuru’s top-rated dealer, is comprised of 14 franchise and used car dealerships across Virginia. The Flexdrive program will initially run out of the Christiansburg, Va.-based Duncan Hyundai store due to its proximity to local universities.
A joint venture between market-leader Cox Automotive and ARI, a global fleet management company, Flexdrive launched in 2014 with a mission of creating an alternative to traditional car buying and leasing. The company’s technology platform and services enable fleet owners and car dealerships to offer inventory for subscription to consumers in their market, as well as internationally. Data provided through the platform gives car subscription operators the insights needed to run and maintain a financially profitable and successful subscription program. Flexdrive also offers a consumer marketplace to dealers where consumers can subscribe to a car directly from their mobile phone, taking the friction out of the car buying process. Visit www.flexdrive.com to learn more or download the app.