November 15, 2018 / 12:37 PM / a month ago

AutoNation to offer used-car subscription service from Fair

FILE PHOTO: People look at vehicles for sale on the lot at AutoNation Toyota dealership in Cerritos, California December 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

(Reuters) - AutoNation Inc (AN.N) will offer a used-car subscription service from auto leasing startup Fair through AutoNation’s network of more than 300 U.S. dealers, starting later this month in California, the companies said on Thursday.

The service, described as an alternative to traditional ownership and leasing, is similar to new-vehicle subscriptions offered by several automakers, including Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd’s Volvo Car Corp, BMW AG (BMWG.DE) and General Motors Co’s (GM.N) Cadillac.

AutoNation, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said the Fair service will bundle routine maintenance and roadside assistance in a monthly subscription that can be ordered through a mobile app and canceled at any time. Customers can add features such as insurance.

Based in Santa Monica, California, Fair was founded in 2016 and has raised more than $1 billion in debt and equity financing. Its backers include German automakers BMW and Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), as well as Michigan-based Penske Automotive Group (PAG.N), which operates a dealership network that competes with AutoNation.

AutoNation Chief Executive Mike Jackson and Fair co-founder Georg Bauer had worked together at Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz USA, where Jackson was president and CEO, and at Mercedes-Benz Capital Corp, where Bauer was CEO. Bauer and Fair co-founder Fedor Artiles had also worked together at Tesla Inc (TSLA.O).

Another Fair co-founder, Scott Painter, had also founded TrueCar Inc (TRUE.O), an online vehicle shopping service that went public in 2014.

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Richard Chang

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