Carly, the Australian car subscription service, has appointed Ben Hershman as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).
As COO, Ben will be responsible for leading the sales, operations and product teams to expand the demand for consumer and business car subscriptions and deliver new revenue channels for automotive dealers, manufacturers and fleet managers.
Ben joins the Carly team with more than 25 years’ experience across the automotive industry, having most recently worked as a director within the Deloitte Motor Industry Services team where he specialised in dealership and distributor consulting across Australasia. Throughout 2016 and 2017, Ben worked for Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) as a customer engagement and business consultant, developing and implementing strategies to support dealership growth.
Ben joined Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) for the second time in early 2014 as general manager of group retail development, overseeing the dealer networks of its Volkswagen and ŠKODA brands. Ben’s first stint with VGA was with its commercial vehicles division from late 2001 as a dealership area manager, before stepping up to national fleet and government manager.
Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) was Ben’s home for almost a decade, where he started as product planning manager before taking responsibility for PR and events. Ben’s last role with HMCA was senior regional sales manager for the eastern region.
Ben began his automotive career at Ford Motor Company in the United Kingdom in 1994, covering a number of engineering development and production roles.
Carly’s Chris Noone says, “Ben brings strategic experience and operational understanding of the automotive industry that will drive Carly’s bold vision. With his unparalleled focus on customer experience, Ben will play an integral role in evolving our business to meet the changing needs and demands of Australian businesses and car drivers.
“Ben’s experience will enable us to accelerate the growth of the car subscription industry in Australia, which is now even more important to consumers, businesses and the auto industry as we become accustomed to the challenges of the post-COVID-19 economy.”
Ben says he’s excited to share the Carly offering as the world shifts towards low-risk subscription models. “There is a growing interest in vehicle subscription and Carly is at the cutting edge of the subscription model. Carly is connecting customers who are interested in car subscription with access to a range of vehicles, including passenger cars, SUVs and utes, direct from dealers and distributors. This is opening up a new revenue stream for the automotive industry and offering drivers a flexible mobility solution.
“Car subscription is evolving quickly as a complementary model to traditional buying and leasing options. One of our opportunities is to educate drivers and businesses that subscription is a low-risk alternative and a convenient way to access a car without committing to an outright purchase or long-term lease.”
Carly launched in Sydney in March 2019 and quickly expanded into Melbourne. The service then launched in Brisbane and the Gold Coast in February 2020, establishing its presence across the Australian eastern seaboard.
Operated by Collaborate Corporation, an ASX-listed company that also runs peer-to-peer car- rental provider DriveMyCar, Carly is a safe and low-risk alternative to buying a car or committing to a loan or lease. Subscribers can switch cars to suit their lifestyle without hefty upfront fees or long- term lock-in contracts. The simple monthly subscription covers the cost of the car, registration, comprehensive and CTP insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance, and can be stopped with 30 days’ notice without penalty should their needs change, providing greater financial freedom. It’s more car, less hassle. Simple.