SOUTHFIELD, MICH.—Maven, the car-sharing platform run by General Motors Co., is rolling out a service to let owners of its cars rent them out and earn money as the automaker makes a bigger move into selling rides as a service instead of just building vehicles.
The idea is to let GM’s customers put their cars into Maven’s fleet using its app the same way Airbnb Inc. enables people to rent out their homes. Maven rents cars out for hours or days at a time the same way Avis Budget Group Inc.’s Zipcar unit does. If it catches on, Maven will get more cars to rent out without carrying assets on its books while GM’s customers have a way to make some extra cash.
“We think Maven can become a verb,” said Julia Steyn, vice-president of urban mobility and Maven. “The brand stands for sharing.”
For GM, the bigger idea is to establish new ways to sell transportation as consumers increasingly use ride-hailing services provided by Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. Maven already rents vehicles to drivers who work for those companies. The automaker’s Cruise unit is developing self-driving cars to use as robotaxis starting next year.
Steyn said Maven wanted to push further into car sharing without having to spend billions on vehicles. So-called peer-to-peer sharing services like Turo had paved the way by helping car owners rent them out.
“Putting all of that stuff on your balance sheet is a dumb idea,” Steyn said. “So we looked to GM owners.”
Maven is starting in the Detroit area, nearby Ann Arbor, Mich., and Chicago because GM has a lot of owners in those markets. Initially, the program will be available to owners of 2015 models and newer, all of which are equipped with the OnStar communications system. If the business does well, Maven will expand to other cities and could even let customers of GM’s rivals put their cars on the platform.
“The last frontier is non-GM owners,” she said.
The pitch to GM’s individual car owners is that they can make a profit on their cars. If the owner of a Chevrolet Cruze compact, for example, rents the car for seven days each month, they can bring in $6,401 a year. Since the cars costs $4,970 a year on average, according to Maven, they can book a tidy profit. Other vehicles can make even more money for the owner.
That has its allure, but Maven may have to reach out to other owners to compete. Turo is the largest so-called peer-to-peer car-sharing business with 7 million users and 250,000 cars on the network globally. With 850 different makes and models, Turo has a bigger and more open marketplace that will be tough to beat, CEO Andre Haddad said.
The service has been growing its network for seven years and ridership is expanding at a rate of about 100 per cent a year, he said in an interview.
“We think an open marketplace is critical,” Haddad said. “Think about Airbnb, eBay and Amazon. We think we have an insurmountable advantage.”
Turo raised $115 million in a funding round led by Germany’s Daimler AG and South Korea’s SK Holdings Co., Haddad said. The company has been valued at about $700 million. Rival Getaround raised $45 million last year, with Toyota Motor Corp. among the companies buying in. HyreCar Inc. raised $12.6 million in an initial public offering last month. The company said its revenue grew to $3.22 million last year from $515,400 a year earlier.
The peer-to-peer plan will help Maven grow, Steyn said. The GM unit has expanded its user base 18-fold in the past year to 160,000 users in 17 cities: 118,000 who rent cars by the hour and 42,000 who drive for Uber, Lyft or a delivery service, Maven said.
The brand is still investing for growth. As Steyn sees it, the potential is in the sheer volume: Americans drive more than three trillion miles a year, and by 2030, 1 trillion of them will be driven different in shared mobility services. If GM gets a decent cut, Maven could be a big business.
“Peer to peer is the future,” said Grayson Brulte, co-founder of Brulte & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in mobility. “Consumers want on-demand access to mobility. It’s more cost-effective, and there is choice. But you can’t limit it to one brand.”
- Christchurch moteliers call for urgent regulation of Airbnb-style accommodation
- Damning report reveals the 'deadly recklessness' of companies racing to put self-driving cars on public roads, after leaked email shows Uber was warned of safety risks just DAYS before one of its vehicles killed a pedestrian
- The sharing economy: a whole new way of living
- Gift ideas for car lovers or commuters
- Fiat Concept Centoventi Offers Customization, Electrification For All
- The future: where borrowing is the norm and ownership is luxury
- The 50 best beaches in the world
- Property prices surge by 12.7 per cent in just one year in Tasmania’s capital with renters also in crisis
- Infinix Hot 6 Pro review: Big 18:9 screen, dual camera, & slim design for under Rs 8k
- Here's how to make money from the gig economy
- Last Chevy Corvette C7 To Be Auctioned For A Good Cause
- 20 Moments From The Past 20 Years That Moved The Whole World Forward
- Emoji, Uber and selfie: These 25 words describe the decade in tech
- EXCLUSIVE: Why a little part of Australia has died: Devastated designer of the Commodore says Holden will be gone in 10 years after the shock decision to stop making the iconic Aussie sedan
- Kevin Hart’s Funny Business
- Ask Amy: Reader weighs in on anti-male bias
- How far will the Cybertruck go?
- Top 10 restaurants in Atlanta
- Boris Johnson tells Cabinet 'we will repay the trust' of working-class Leave voters in first meeting after landslide victory - with new clause to Brexit bill that rules out delaying departure from EU rules beyond 2020 by LAW
- Smiling Boris Johnson is cheered into the House of Commons - while grim-faced Jeremy Corbyn is booed - as the pair face each other in Parliament for first time since bombshell election saw Tories win 80-strong majority and put Labour to the sword
GM’s Maven unveils Airbnb-style way for owners to rent out cars have 1023 words, post on www.thestar.com at July 24, 2018. This is cached page on Game Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.