Business Matters: Autosource brings subscription-based cars to Hawaii

Business Matters

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Rima Braden has always been one to test the limits.

The Hawaii-based entrepreneur is a long time veteran in the auto sales business. Most recently the head of Autosource on Ala Moana Boulevard.

“We’re just a high-end dealership that offers buying and leasing of vehicles,” said Braden. “And we now have a full service that we could service all the other dealerships and all of our customers.”

Autosource has been in growth mode moving from a 10,000 square-foot location in 2017 to its new location fronting Ala Moana Boulevard. The location, where more than 300 cars of all makes and models, occupy more than 90,000 sq. ft.

It’s the perfect playground for a self-described workaholic.

“Every day just coming in and grinding away basically. Then everything just kind of worked out, and here we are. I think we’ve been in business almost 20 years now.”

Now, Braden’s newest brainchild is a business within his business called Carousel, where he offers a product unique to Hawaii.

Call it a subscription to cars.

“It’s kind of a big deal on the mainland now. There’s a lot of companies that I’ve seen doing it. That basically every six months you get to change cars for free.”

You heard him right, you get to change cars every six months.

It’s a modified lease that gives you the leverage and the freedom to get behind the wheel long before you get tired of your ride.

“It’s all-inclusive. Subscription is definitely becoming the future of cars.”

Here’s how it works.

There are several different price points from tier one, which gets you into something relatively standard at under $300 a month, up to the fourth tier which allows you to jump into the luxury or sports car you’ve always dreamed of at a price competitive to a standard lease from a typical dealership.

“So we have everything from one. Could start with the Tacoma and start with the truck, and you could work your way up to a Mercedes or a BMW or even higher if you want to have the whole spectrum,” he said. “It’s kind of a no brainer overtime. You figure it out. Cars are an expense, no matter how you slice it. But this is a way to control that expense over time.”

Paul Perry jumped onto the Carousel earlier this year. Now, he’s moving on to his next ride.

“I just learned about it from Rima six months ago, and for our lifestyle, we like to change vehicles quite frequently. It’s working out quite well for us.”

The Carousel program is just a small, but growing part of Autosource. Looking ahead, Braden says the recipe for success is the way they approach their business and their customers.

“We try to hire folks that are really caring about the exchange and the service component. We focus largely on our service rather than the sales. A lot of people are receiving that really well. We’re optimistic but really cautious and right now things seem to be moving okay.”

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