COVID-19 Puts an End to the Maven Ride-Sharing Service



 Amanda Drago

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Maven in New York City. COVID-19 ends Maven ride-sharing service
Maven in New York City
Photo: General Motors

After launching just over four years ago, Maven is shutting down operations. Although General Motors cut back the program in 2019, it was COVID-19 that shut down the long-term rental and ride-sharing service entirely.


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An overview of Maven’s past

Maven on a smartphone. COVID-19 ends Maven ride-sharing service
Maven on a smartphone
Photo: General Motors

GM
first launched Maven in 2016 as a way for the automaker to compete against ZipCar
and other services that let you rent vehicles. Through an available smartphone
app, Maven made it easy for you to rent vehicles by the hour and seemed to be on
the path to success
. In 2016, GM reported that Maven had over 11,000
members and they loaned vehicles for an average of roughly 12 hours.

Maven
added a pilot program in 2017, which offered rentals of the Chevrolet Tahoe and
Volt for 28 days or more at a flat subscription rate. Maven Gig also allowed delivery-service
workers as well as Lyft and Uber drivers to lease GM vehicles. According to GM,
Maven Gig customers can continue leasing these vehicles temporarily until they
arrange for new vehicles to drive.

Maven Gig. COVID-19 ends Maven ride-sharing service
Maven Gig
Photo: General Motors

Maven managed to make its way into 17 different cities. However, about 11 months ago, GM pulled the ride-sharing service from eight cities, including Chicago and New York City. As a result of recent stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, there hasn’t been much demand for rental cars or rideshares, and this has unfortunately led to Maven’s ultimate demise.


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Over the past several years, other automakers attempted to enter the ride-sharing market, but many had to close down their programs in 2018 or 2019. With COVID-19 causing new challenges for the automotive industry, it’s likely that GM and other automakers will choose to focus their efforts on their core business instead of on an additional program, like a ride-sharing service.




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