Hyundai partners with Norwegian startup Casi for European car subscription services

The shift towards car subscription services and the "Netflix for cars."
Hyundai partners with Norwegian startup Casi for European car subscription services

Today, Norwegian car subscription tech startup Casi announced its partnership with Hyundai Motor Europe. to bring the OEMs Mocean car subscriptions to European markets.

A Mocean subscription combines all the benefits of owning a car with the flexibility of a subscription service and no long-term commitment.

Casi will provide Hyundai Motor Europe with all the tech tools needed to bring the Mocean subscription service to the next level. Following Hyundai's successful service launch in the UK and Spanish markets, the two companies have migrated the existing Mocean customer base to the Casi platform. They will work together to scale the subscription service to new European markets in the coming months. 

I spoke to Hans Kristian Aas, CEO and Co-founder of Casi, to learn all about it. 

The future of mobility is for rent

The future of mobility sees a fundamental shift from car ownership to renters, where owning a car becomes superfluous if not inconvenient. While we're yet to see a global rollout of on-demand autonomous vehicles, we're witnessing the influx of ride-sharing, ride-hailing, and micromobility — and car subscriptions. 

With the rising cost of inflation, car ownership is less affordable for many people. Especially when you factor in the cost of financing, insurance, repairs and services, and road taxes. Worse, most brands depreciate in value each year. 

The global car subscription industry is worth more than $5 billion and is set to grow to over $100 billion by 2032, with a forecasted annual growth rate of 35 percent. 

The main providers of car subscription services are car manufacturers, leasing companies, rental agencies and car retailers who are looking to create additional revenue streams and meet new customer demands for flexible personal mobility.

Car subscriptions take the work out of car ownership 

Aas explained that car subscriptions differ from traditional leasing or car ownership in their flexibility and ease of access. Where traditional leasing periods typically last three years, Mocean subscriptions are available for as little as one month (Spain) and 3 months (UK) and as long as 24 months. 

"Additional costs normally associated with car ownership, such as insurance, roadside assistance, road tax, and maintenance are all included in the monthly subscription fee, and cancellation is available with a one-month notice period."

Aas explains that subscriptions also remove one pesky task - organising a tyre change with the change of seasons:
"In Norway, you have to change tires two times a year. We come to the customers' home and change the tyres outside their door."

Casi's tech platform contains all the tools needed to track and manage the entire lifecycle of a Mocean car running on subscription. This includes all back-end systems needed to track and manage fleet status, maintenance, and digital direct distribution sales through the Mocean webshop. 

The white-label platform integrates with Hyundai's existing tech landscape, including ID solutions, ERP system, and CRM systems.

On the customer-facing end, the new partnership includes highly automated integrations critical for a smooth experience, such as payments, credit checks, subscription management and customer service. 

Aas explains that digitisation also provides the benefit of data insights:

"We can use the data to see what customers really want. If it's free home delivery, how many choose home delivery? And if a weekend car swap is offered, how many people actually use it? 

Who are the subscribers?

In many countries, car ownership is still a key marker of adulthood and success, although this is shifting. Aas sees subscriptions appealing to two core segments:

"Newly established families whose car needs change drastically almost year by year and are looking for flexibility. Then there are also dual income no-kids folks looking for something a little bit cool." 

Making the transition to electric vehicles 

One of a subscription service's key benefits to customers is the opportunity to access an electric car, without the perceived risks of buying one. 

Aas detailed: 

"In Norway, nine out of 10 cars being sold are electric, which has done so much to the user side of getting a car. So suddenly, you have entirely new brands entering the market. 

But at the same time, an electric car represents many new things. 

Electric cars are cheaper to run but more expensive to buy. And if you don't know about the brand, you don't know how this charging thing will work. There's a lot of unknowns.

Our subscription can help customers try a car out and then realise, 'oh my God, this is so much better than the old way.'"

Further, globally, high purchase costs are seen as one of the key barriers to widespread EV adoption. Through a subscription, customers have access to a variety of electric car models on a fixed-fee and fixed-term basis, making it possible to try one out without worrying about long-term commitments.

Aas shared: "I've been focusing not just on the hype but on the trends working against us as well. New car sales are currently dropping drastically because of people's financial situation. This creates a key opportunity for car rentals to become a part of everyday driving." 

Liran Golan, Head of Future Mobility at Hyundai Motor Europe shared: 

"As a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) provider as well as a car manufacturer, the Mocean subscription service has been tailored to meet the needs of both our current and future customers, allowing us to bring Hyundai's award-winning range of advanced electrified vehicles to those wanting to enjoy them with full flexibility, and with comprehensive motoring services included." 

Kristian Aas asserts:

"There is no doubt in my mind that car subscriptions are the future of personal mobility. At Casi, we want to reshape the automotive industry to be more customer-centric and give providers the tools they need to offer the "Netflix for cars" model of the future" 

Lead image: Casi. Photo: Uncredited.

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