22 Apr 20

GM shuts Maven car sharing service

General Motors has announced the closure of Maven, its North American car sharing service. The manufacturer had suspended Maven in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its closure follows the decision by BMW and Daimler to shut down their joint venture car sharing operation, Share Now, in February in North America.

Maven launched in 2016 and at its peak had expanded to 17 cities across North America, although this figure had shrunk to eight by last year, seven in the US plus Toronto, Canada. The app-based service had 320,000 registered customer accounts.

COVID-19 blamed

In an email to customers, Maven said: “After critically looking at our business, the industry, and what’s going on with COVID-19, we have made the tough but necessary decision to wind down our business.” 

New mobility trials

GM had used Maven to explore future mobility opportunities, including the offer of a fleet of electric Chevrolet Bolt cars for Maven Gigi ride-share drivers, as well as supplying cars for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. It had even tested a peer-to-peer car sharing function that allowed owners of GM brands, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac to rent their cars to other Maven members.

In an official statement, Pamela Fletcher, GM’s vice president of global innovation, said: “We’ve gained extremely valuable insights from operating our own car-sharing business. Our learnings and developments from Maven will go on to benefit and accelerate the growth of other areas of GM business.”

Coronavirus hits sharing economy

The coronavirus lockdown has undermined a number of businesses in the sharing economy, including Uber and AirBnB.

This week also saw Zipcar announce the closure of its car sharing operation in British Columbia, Canada, blaming the decision on the ‘complexities’ of local insurance regulations, although it will continue to trade elsewhere in Canada and the US.

Authored by: Jonathan Manning