Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a strategy of managing a company’s products all the way across their lifecycles. Empowered by new capabilities, intelligent products enable seamless information flow and thus enable closed-loop PLM. Hence, one phenomenon of particular interest is the appreciation of beginning of life activities through middle of life information. Grounded on empirical data from a multiple-case study in three distinct manufacturing industries, we explore this emergent role of product usage data for product development. In detail, we address rationales, opportunities, conditions, and obstacles. Findings indicate that (1) heterogeneous motives drive the exploitation, (2) a positive impact on every product development stage is perceivable, (3) some products and industry ecosystems are more suitable than others, and (4) technical, economic, and social obstacles challenge the exploitation. With the limitation of an interpretive, qualitative research design, our work represents a first step to understand the role of closed-loop PLM.