The Geely Group - owner or part-owner of Lotus, Lynk&Co, Mercedes-Benz, Polestar, Smart and Volvo - is considering launching a subscription service whereby customers pay a monthly fee to access any of its cars.
While stressing that any such a scheme is still at the discussion stage, Lotus's executive director of corporate strategy and product management, Uday Senapati, said during the Financial Times’ Future of the Car event: “When you're part of a big group, it's natural you will look at what could be done together. It's an obvious thing to look at.”
Reacting to data showing that the average car is parked 96% of the time, Senapati added: “For Lotus, that number is probably higher. It’s really a Sunday summer car for a niche of enthusiasts who adore it for that. We can change that in the future, both by making our cars more useful and moving into different segments, but there are opportunities in sharing too.”
Senapati didn't agree that car sharing was an inevitability in the future, however, saying: “Car ownership is here to stay, I believe. Cars aren’t just a commodity for many people; they mean more, and that will always be the case.”
A Global Market Insights report recently projected that 20% of car journeys will be made in cars operating under subscription services by 2026.