GM shuts down car-sharing service Maven

Technology

General Motors is shutting down Maven, the car-sharing service it launched in 2016, the company said. It joins a small but growing list of car-sharing services from automakers and other companies that have struggled or otherwise fully shut down in North America.

“After critically looking at our business, the industry, and what’s going on with COVID-19, we have made the tough but necessary decision to wind down our business,” the company explained in an email to Maven customers sent on Tuesday.

Originally designed to be a competitor to the Zipcars and Car2Gos of the world, GM expanded Maven in 2018 to allow car owners to share their vehicles on the service as well, similar to services like Turo or Getaround. At its peak, Maven was available in 17 cities across the US. But Maven’s first CEO left her post early last year, and by mid-2019, GM decided to pull the service from about half of its cities, including major markets like Boston, Chicago, and New York City. Maven continued to operate in cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Toronto until last month when service was suspended amid the pandemic.

“We’ve gained extremely valuable insights from operating our own car-sharing business,” Pamela Fletcher, GM’s vice president of global innovation, said in a statement. “Our learnings and developments from Maven will go on to benefit and accelerate the growth of other areas of GM business.”

Maven Gig, the part of the service that made cars exclusively available for Lyft or Uber drivers, will be shut down as well, but “will likely be the part that takes the longest to finalize,” GM says. “[W]e will ask customers to return [Maven Gig] vehicles only when it’s safe and allowed to do so. We also don’t want to disrupt important food and supply deliveries Gig drivers might be making,” the company says.