I heard about a pretty cool idea on the Harvard Business Review podcast today. There's a company (can't remember the name) that is basically leasing high-priced handbags to women. Women can't afford to buy more than one or two of these things but they'd like to be seen with way more than that. Leasing them allows them to use several different handbags based on the season or to match the outfit they plan to wear. The idea could easily be applied to cars as well -- you could have a convertible in the summer and an SUV in the winter.
I suppose you could also do it with a high-end snowboard and a high-end bike. Maybe an HDTV during football season? Or a BBQ during the summer?
I think this model is consistent with consumer's increasing demand for mobility. That is, I believe consumers want less stuff and more of the ability to move around; freedom is becoming more important than material items. If I'm right the economics could work for this model.
I think we're going to see a lot more leasing in the future.