GM gets aggressive and launches a car-sharing service for the future when no one owns cars
Will this model part of the way, MALTAway thinks it is a part of the solution of traffic related troubles in Malta as well
While other car companies have been dancing around the future where no one owns cars, GM is asserting itself and positioning for the win.
“We see the emergence of car-share/ride-share as much more of an opportunity than it is a threat,” said GM’s president Don Ammann during a press conference for reporters.
On Thursday, the company plans to announce a new service,Maven, which pulls together its assembly of car-sharing services into its bet on the future.
GM has tested services where people share their own cars, but Mavens will incorporate that with a twist. Instead of needing to own one, GM will supply cars that customers can rent by the hour or for days. Unlike a traditional rental car spot, there’s no counter or clerk — you just walk up, unlock the car with an app, and go. As long as you return it to the same parking spot, you’re good.
While a part of GM, Maven is its own consumer-facing name and service designed to compete (and hopefully surpass) startups like Getaround, Zipcar, and Turo, which have pioneered the car-sharing industry.
“A Maven customer would download the app and that smartphone will be used as the key to the vehicle. When you come to the car, you can open the car for you and you can be on your way,” Steyn said.
Plus, the app will include options like remote heating and cooling, so the car will match your likes from the moment you get in, she added.
Rather than blanketing cities in parking spaces, Maven is also tailoring its programs to be designed for the location.
Its residential option in New York City lets apartment dwellers in the same building share a car. For its new pilot in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Maven is installing 21 parking spaces around town and the University of Michigan’s campus to give students and residents alike a chance to rent a vehicle for a short time.
It’s not a revenue-generating endeavor for the company, yet. The cars in Maven’s program start at $6 an hour, so it would need to be driven many thousands of hours before paying for itself.
As Ammann explained, the reality is many people still want to own cars, and GM expects to sell millions of those cars for many years to come. However, there’s also a growing segment of the population who aren’t as interested in buying cars as generations past — and that’s who GM is courting with Maven.
“We do see significant change in consumer behavior,” Ammann said. “And we see significant opportunities as change occurs. We very much as a company want to put some thought into the forefront of that.”
The rebound of GM
Six years ago, GM was on the brink of failure. Amidst the financial crisis of 2009, the automaker filed for bankruptcy, shed its brands like Hummer and Saturn, and tried to turn itself around.
The auto industry looked bleak for many a company. At the same time, a little upstart called Uber was launching in San Francisco.
Fast forward six years and the auto industry is recovering strongly, but the road to the future has changed. Uber claims it will do away with cars, and is alreadymaking a dent in it.