A US trademark filing for "My Freedom" reveals that an FCA vehicle subscription may be in the works.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may be taking cues from a handful of premium automakers, with a recent US trademark filing providing evidence that the American-Italian manufacturer is cooking up a vehicle subscription service called "My Freedom".
FCA filed last week to trademark the name "My Freedom" in the US as it applies to "motor vehicle subscription services, namely, providing temporary use of motor vehicles to members for their personal use." What's unclear at this point is whether such a service might be restricted to up-market brands - premium FCA holdings like Alfa Romeo and Maserati, for example - or whether it might offer users access to products from a wider range of Fiat Chrysler marques, for instance letting users rent a Jeep Grand Cherokee for an upcoming family vacation, or a Ram 1500 for an impending move.
CarBuzz is the first to report on this news.
Its worth noting that Groupe PSA, with whom FCA recently signed a merger agreement, already offers a vehicle subscription service through its Free2Move mobility brand.
Vehicle subscription services typically offer users access to a range of new vehicles in the automaker portfolio for a simple monthly fee, with things like regular service and insurance included in the cost of the membership. American automakers have historically had less-than-stellar results with their own subscription services; GM's Cadillac brand was forced to temporarily suspend its BOOK service as the company worked out how to overcome its high operating costs, and Ford last year sold Canvas to startup vehicle subscription provider Fair.
But Porsche Passport and Care by Volvo have demonstrated that vehicle subscription services can work, provided that the math makes since. Importantly, both Porsche and Volvo are well into premium pricing territory already, so that customers are perhaps less phased by the high monthly payments required to cover insurance, maintenance, and in some cases, regular detailing procedures.
Like other global automakers, FCA has shown a greater interest in future mobility recently, launching a partnership with Silicon Valley autonomy startup Aurora last year after making public its plans involving autonomous and semi-autonomous driving systems over the next couple of years.
Now, if only FCA had held onto Ferrari rather than spinning the Italian sportscar marque off into a separate entity. Then we might have been able to check a 488 out like a library book.