What is General Motors Planning for The Ride- And Car-Sharing Industries?
Last week, General Motors announced that the company had developed its own brand new ride-sharing service called Maven.
GM’s ride-sharing service will be similar to existing brands like Zipcar and Car2Go in that it will offer customers access to vehicles that can be rented quickly via a mobile app and then picked up from locations throughout a designated area.
The announcement from GM is just the latest in a long line of recent moves into the ride- and car-sharing industries. On Jan. 4, Lyft announced that GM had invested $500 million into the service.
General Motors also recently purchased ride-sharing company Sidecar Technologies Inc., bringing over around 20 employees in the process, including co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Jahan Khanna.
GM President Dan Ammann released a statement about the recent jump into the ride- and car-sharing industries, saying, “GM is at the forefront of redefining the future of personal mobility. With the launch of our car-sharing service through Maven, the strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft, and building on our decades of leadership in vehicle connectivity through OnStar, we are uniquely positioned to provide the high level of personalized mobility services our customers expect today and in the future.”
The focus on new and innovative forms of travel and car rental for GM is similar to the moves made by other major car manufacturers in the United States. With more young people opting to use public transportation and other car services instead of purchasing vehicles, automakers are taking a different approach.
Kelley Blue Book Executive Editorial Director and Analyst Jack R. Nerad told Alex Fitzpatrick of Time.com about how the new car-sharing service will also act as a marketing campaign for GM:
“While there is some debate over how important ride-sharing services will be in the future, there is no doubt that the top global car companies want to have exposure in the space and gain learnings from early adopters. A pilot program like GM’s Maven can not only provide those learnings, but can also be a marketing opportunity, exposing GM vehicles to groups that might not otherwise consider them.”
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