Swedish automaker Volvo is known for safety — which has made its station wagons and SUVs the vehicles of choice for many families. Volvo has worked hard to earn that reputation through efforts like Vision 2020, a company-wide initiative to eliminate driver and passenger deaths by the end of the decade by through everything from engineering advancements to to smarter roads and highways. But even if Volvo’s cars are some of the safest on the road, the company itself is still taking some big risks. Case in point is Care By Volvo, a radical rethinking of vehicle ownership that turns cars into a subscription service. For $650 a month and up, the program offers a brand new SUV or sedan, along with a bundled insurance plan, roadside assistance, maintenance and other benefits. Drivers sign a two-year contract—more akin to a cellular plan than a traditional car lease—and they can chose to upgrade their car after the first 12 months. It’s particularly attractive to millennials who have already embraced subscription plans from companies like Amazon and Blue Apron. And while Care by Volvo saw hiccups in its early days, participants are now largely heralding it as a much-needed simplification of the car-buying process.
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