General Motors shuts Maven car-sharing unit, due to coronavirus

General Motors Maven smartphone car sharing app

General Motors stated on Tuesday it is closing its Maven car-sharing unit, after suspending operations due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The automaker stated it would shift Maven assets and resources to its Global Innovation group.

Maven was introduced in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in January 2016. It was started when Dan Ammann was GM’s president, Maven once had a strategic alliance with ride services startup Lyft.

Ammann is now CEO of Cruise, the San Francisco self-driving startup that GM bought under Ammann’s aegis in early 2016 right after launching Maven.

Julia Steyn, the first head of Maven, quit GM in 2019. She is chief executive officer of Bolt Mobility, an e-scooter rental startup co-founded by world-class sprinter Usain Bolt.

Pamela Fletcher, head of GM Global Innovation, stated the automaker “gained extremely valuable insights” from Maven that would “benefit and accelerate the growth of other areas” of the automaker’s business.

GM suspended Maven services in March after COVID-19 coronavirus triggered increasingly stringent government restrictions on mobility, and ultimately decided to close the business.

A GM spokesperson stated Maven assets would be shifted to other GM units “where there is greater potential for profit and growth”.

Other automakers have seen no better results than General Motor in the car-sharing sector.

In December, BMW AG and Daimler AG stated they were exiting the North American car-sharing market. SHARE NOW and its Car2Go unit, a joint venture of the two German automakers, closed operations on February 29 in the United States and Canada, citing high operating expenses and the “volatile state of the global mobility landscape.”

The service permitted consumers to rent vehicles by the minute and park them on city streets or at parking meters with no charge. It faced tough competition from ride-service firms such as Lyft and Uber Technologies and also electric scooters.

About 826,240 people in the US have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 45,373 people in the country.

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