American Carmaker's Uber Fighter Is Officially Dead

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So much for Maven.

Four years after General Motors launched Maven, its app-based ride-sharing service has officially been shut down. GM notified all 230,000 Maven customers yesterday that "Effective immediately, Maven Car Sharing will no longer be available." A company spokesperson further reiterated that no new reservations are being taken. So why is this Uber competitor shutting down after a relatively short period of time? Because it required a high capital investment and was showing low long-term profitability.

Translation: GM was losing money.

This isn't the first time GM has pulled the plug on money-losing operations. It previously sold Opel and Vauxhall to the PSA Group and, more recently, shut down Holden in Australia. Maven's closure actually doesn't come as a complete surprise.

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GM

Almost a year ago, Maven began reducing services in several areas where it was available but still kept things running in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, the Detroit area, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Toronto. At its peak, Maven operated in 17 cities. Last month, Maven stopped services mainly to protect drivers and customers from the coronavirus pandemic. The combination of a lack of business and coronavirus were the final nails in the coffin.

One of the unique things about Maven was the Maven Gig program. This allowed users to rent GM vehicles for gig economy tasks, such as deliveries. You could even rent a Chevy Cruze for as little as $9 an hour. In 2018, Maven began offering a peer-to-peer service allowing anyone who leased a 2015 or newer GM vehicle to list their car for rent on the Maven app when the car wasn't in use. Owners were able to keep 60 percent of the profit while Maven pocketed the rest.

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There are currently about 1,400 vehicles in the Maven fleet GM will eventually send to dealership auctions and will later be sold as used cars. The rest of Maven's "assets and resources will be transferred to GM's Global Innovation organization, as well as the larger enterprise," according to GM's official statement.

At one point, it was predicted Maven would eventually be combined with GM's Cruise autonomous driving division, but clearly that won't be happening.

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