The program launched in 2017
Photo: Matthew Eisman (Getty)

General Motors seems hellbent on tearing down the house that former Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen built, and now, according to the Wall Street Journal, that includes the $1,800 a month Book by Cadillac subscription car program.

Cadillac will wind down the subscription service by the end of the year, the WSJ reported, citing unnamed people briefed on the plan. Once a subscriber’s notified by the company, the WSJ says, they’ll have 30 days to turn their vehicles in.

A Cadillac spokesperson confirmed this to Jalopnik:

Following nearly two years of service, Cadillac will temporarily pause the BOOK by Cadillac program effective December 1, 2018. BOOK by Cadillac launched as a pilot program, providing the brand with valuable insights and contributing to Cadillac’s ongoing commitment in identifying new and innovative luxury experiences for their customers. The brand will use these insights to make adjustments to the BOOK by Cadillac strategy moving forward. Additional details will be made available at a later date.

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As you can tell from that language, the door was left open for it to potentially restart at a later date.

Per the WSJ:

Some aspects of Cadillac’s program proved more costly than expected, people familiar with the program said. Snags with the back-end technology used to support the service made some customer-service functions tedious and time-consuming, adding costs for the company, these people said.

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Cadillac was among the first batch of automakers to try out a subscription service, and many manufacturers have glommed onto the idea since, with some offering models that cost as much as $3,700 a month.

Like those other services, Book was meant as an experiment in new car use models, which ideally would turn into new revenue streams as the way people drive and own cars potentially starts to change. I’ll let the WSJ say it here:

Auto executives are worried that the century-old model of customers buying and repairing their own cars will lose ground to ride-hailing services, such as Uber Technologies Inc., and other forms of transportation. Many auto makers are teaming up with tech startups to launch new smartphone-based apps that give customers new options for getting around, such as hailing driverless cars in the future.

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But Book’s apparent “snags” show how this awkward transition toward a so-called mobility-focused industry will have plenty of hiccups along the way.

And so, for now, we’ll bid adieu to Book by Cadillac.