This Wednesday, General Motors official confirmed that it is shutting down Maven, the car-sharing service it launched in 2016. Originally this service was designed to be a competitor for Zipcars and Car2Go.
While the Company had temporarily suspended car sharing services on March 20 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Maven has now confirmed that the shutdown is permanent and the company will not accept further reservations. In the beginning of the year, Maven suspended operation in Australia on the back of the Holden announcement.
Other associated businesses are also in the process of winding down-Maven P2P is cancelled with immediate effect and so also Maven Gig. In the case of Maven Gig, vehicles which are currently in the field will be brought back in the next couple of months. Although not part of the Maven brand, the ARIV eBike business that was available in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany will also be cancelled.
“We’ve gained extremely valuable insights from operating our own car-sharing business,” said Pamela Fletcher, Vice President Global Innovation, General Motors. “Our learnings and developments from Maven will go on to benefit and accelerate the growth of other areas of GM business.”
In the near term, part of the carsharing technology platform will be fully absorbed by the fleet management business while the rest of the assets, technologies and data collected from the lifetime of Maven will go the Global Innovation Organization, which was founded to seek alternative sources of revenue and adjacent business models.
GM launched Maven in 2016 as a “personal mobility brand” by combining previous car sharing ventures. However, since the beginning the company struggled with low utilization rates and profitability, and last year Maven withdrew from half of its market. While there were several factors that eventually didn’t work in favour of Maven, the core issue is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” mobility solution. We rather need to look at mobility from a regional perspective.
In US, we expect OEMs to have a better success rate more as a supplier of vehicles, at least until autonomous vehicles start becoming more mainstream. In the near term, the most lucrative opportunities will lie in fleet solutions and dealership-based sharing solutions- loaner cars, facilitating test drives, etc.
When it comes to Europe the strategic direction for OEMs should be on hyper localised car sharing services in larger European cities, leaning more towards an outsourced platform rather than an in-sourced one for better profitability and utilization.