Jeep Will Test Peer-To-Peer Car Sharing, Subscription Services With Turo and Avis

After seeing successful programs run by GM and Volvo, Fiat Chrysler wants in on the mobility market.

FCA US LLC—© 2017 FCA US LLC

Jeep will separately test peer-to-peer car sharing and subscription services according to a Bloomberg interview with Tim Kuniskis, head of the highly profitable Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brand. A pilot program for each service will run for three months, and FCA is partnering with a different company for each pilot.

The peer-to-peer car sharing pilot, under which Jeep owners will be able to rent out their SUVs, will be run in partnership with Turo, a startup that specializes in this kind of service. On the subscription side, FCA will work with Avis on a service that lets Jeep owners swap their vehicles for models from other FCA brands, including the Dodge Challenger and Ram 1500, according to Bloomberg.

Both pilot programs will run in Boston only and be open to just 100 Jeep owners each. After the programs conclude, FCA will decide whether to scale up one or both of the services.

"We'll find out what's good and what's bad, what customers like and what they don't like, and ultimately from that, we'll decide if we want to do this as something we promote to our dealerships at the time of sale," Kuniskis said in his interview with Bloomberg.

Peer-to-peer car sharing and subscription services offer a potential new revenue source for automakers, but also controversy. General Motors offers peer-to-peer car sharing under its Maven brand, and Turo has 350,000 vehicles on its platform, according to Bloomberg. But Turo has also fought with traditional rental companies in Utah over claims that it skirted regulations.

Several automakers already offer subscription services, although many are small-scale pilot programs. Cadillac pulled the plug on its Book service in November, while rival Lincoln continues to run a subscription service for used cars. Volvo's Care by Volvo is fairly prolific, although it is now the target of a group of California car dealers, who view it as unfair competition.