Premium cars don’t have a future with Mobility: after completion of a one-year test, it has become obvious that too few car-sharers are prepared to pay the extra. In addition, Mobility aims to opt much more for alternative drive forms in the future. As a result, the Premium category will be discontinued with immediate effect. Changes can be expected in other categories, too.
A considerable proportion of new cars sold in Switzerland are high-quality models and brands – a trend that Mobility picked up on a year ago: by fitting the relevant models from partner companies with car sharing technology, it was possible to test the cars without having to actually acquire them. Mobility introduced the new "Premium" category to try to convince even more people to share cars instead of buying them themselves.
After a one-year pilot project supported by the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and based on customer surveys, it has now been decided that the Premium category is a thing of the past as of today. As Mobility Managing Director Roland Lötscher explains: "Premium category rates were based on the high value of the cars, but they were too high for a lot of customers. That’s why usage fell short of expectations". Although there was certainly interest in the vehicles, most customers only wanted to try them out once. "Premium would have remained a niche product, and our range has to be suitable for the mass market," says Lötscher.
Another reason why the project is being discontinued is Mobility’s increased focus on electric and hybrid drives. The aim is to have 700 alternative cars being used in the fleet by 2023, with the overall objective of making the entire Mobility fleet climate-neutral by 2035 at the latest. Although it would have been possible to offer Premium cars with electric drive systems, this would have made even less sense from an economic point of view.
In addition to Premium, other Mobility categories will be seeing changes introduced, too. The two Teslas in Basel and Zurich Altstetten can now be booked in the Emotion category, which Mobility expects to expand as soon as possible. And the Smarts have reached the end of their term: they are now being replaced on an ongoing basis by Budget and Economy models, and in certain cases by estate cars (Combi category). This is because Mobility’s focus in the area of electrically powered cars is on multi-seat models with a good price/performance ratio: the new electric Smart-for-two models don’t meet these criteria.