A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Mar 7, 2017

GM's Car Sharing Service Is Now Offering Hourly, Daily, Weekly and Monthly Rentals

If you can't beat 'em with your old business model, co-opt theirs. JL

Kirsten Korosec reports in Fortune:

GM has experimented to find other ways to generate revenue beyond its traditional business of producing, selling and financing vehicles.GM brand Cadillac launched a subscription service that lets customers—for a $1,500 flat monthly fee—drive whatever vehicle they want. Drivers can change vehicles within each month to meet their needs. "We want to expand the flexibility of the platform. You can get a vehicle for an hour, for a day, for a week, and a month."
General Motors has expanded on-demand car-sharing business Maven multiple times in its short 13-month-old life by adding cities and services. And it's growing again; this time by letting customers rent its GM-branded vehicles for a month at a time.
The new service called Maven Reserve will start in Los Angeles and San Francisco and will eventually be available in other cities. Maven is currently running in 17 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
Maven members can now pay a monthly fee, which varies depending on the vehicle, to reserve a new GM vehicle for 28 days. The fee includes parking at one of Maven's designated car-sharing spots, insurance, and $100 worth of gas. The Chevrolet Tahoe costs about $1,500 a month, although other vehicles are more easy on the wallet.
Maven is really three car-sharing services in one: a city-based service that rents GM vehicles by the hour through an app, another for urban apartment dwellers, and a peer-to-peer sharing service called Express Drive. Under the Express Drive program, Maven offers Lyft drivers weekly rentals of GM vehicles in select cities. GM partnered with Lyft last year and invested $500 million into the ride-hailing company.
Maven Reserve is the latest addition to this portfolio of services.
The monthly service was developed, at least initially, to meet demand for entrepreneurs and people in the entertainment business who travel frequently and often require immediate access to a vehicle for varying periods of time, according to GM. The company chose L.A. and San Francisco because there is a customer base within these locations that often travel between each city or the East and West coasts.

"Basically we want to expand the flexibility of the platform," Julia Steyn, Vice President of GM Urban Mobility and Maven told Fortune. "You can get a vehicle for an hour, for a day, for a week, and now you can have a vehicle for a month."
The offering is in line with how customers have been using Maven, Steyn said, adding that users often switch between types of vehicles to meet their needs at the time as well as rental lengths.
Maven Reserve will offer a range of vehicles including the Chevrolet Tahoe, its GMC-branded vehicles, and its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt and all-electric Chevrolet Bolt. According to GM, the company has more than 25,000 members who have made more than 32,000 reservations.
Last month, GM began introducing Los Angeles residents to its new 2017 Chevy Bolt EV by adding more than 100 of the all-electric vehicles to fleets of its on-demand hourly rental service Maven and the weekly rental program it operates with Lyft.
The automaker has experimented in recent months to find other ways to generate revenue beyond its traditional business of producing, selling and financing vehicles. In January, GM brand Cadillac launched a subscription service that lets customers—for a $1,500 flat monthly fee—drive whatever vehicle they want. Drivers can change vehicles within each month to meet their needs.

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