General Motors Launches Maven Car Sharing App
Inclusion of Trucks, Vans in App “An Opportunity”
The past two years have been good to the automotive industry, with record sales of cars, trucks, and SUVs. However, challenges await on the horizon, including some unavoidable demographic trends that may signal headwinds for the traditional automotive sales and use model. In an attempt to stay ahead of these changes, General Motors recently announced a significant $500-million investment in ride-on-demand service Lyft and announced today the formation of its captive vehicle loan on-demand service Maven. Initially, the service is launching as a pilot in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and New York City. Rollouts are planned in several urban centers in the near future. The Chicago area will be the next market for Maven, likely followed by other large metro areas in the U.S. The service is also being trial-tested in Germany and China.
As with similar services offered by Zipcar or Car2Go, Maven is a smartphone app-based service, which integrates with the vehicles' embedded OnStar and infotainment systems. Maven promises a personalized experience with integration of users individual preferences through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar, SiriusXM and 4G LTE services.
Currently, the service features the Chevrolet Malibu, Volt, and Spark. The New York area offers compact SUVs (presumably the Trax and Equinox) for loan. We reached out to GM representative Annalisa Bluhm to ask if trucks, vans, or larger SUVs would be included in the program at a future date. She said more utilitarian uses for Maven, such as van or pickup loans for transporting furniture or large and bulky items, represent an "opportunity" for future development of the service.
Source: General Motors