The Stockholm program, Audi Unite, works something like an automotive time share. Three or four people essentially share a specially designed vehicle lease. Group members use a smartphone app to schedule who gets the vehicle when, and each person’s monthly payment is adjusted based on how much he or she uses the vehicle.
The Berlin program is called Audi Select. Instead of several customers sharing one vehicle, one customer has access to several Audis and rotates among them over 12 months.
Audi isn’t the first luxury carmaker to experiment with car-sharing business models, as automakers increasingly see their role as providing mobility rather than merely selling vehicles. But whereas Daimler’s Car2Go one-way rental service and BMW’s DriveNow electric-vehicle sharing venture cater to city dwellers for whom owning a vehicle is either too expensive or impractical, Audi’s two programs point to another potential market for car-sharing services: luxury car customers who demand versatility in their vehicle options – and can afford to pay for it.