By on April 20, 2017

2015_Toyota_Prius_c_007

Automakers, both domestic and come-from-away, all want you to do the next best thing if your meager funds aren’t enough to get you into a showroom: borrow a car.

Ride-sharing services provide mainly urban dwellers with the car they so desperately crave, without the years of payments or need to find permanent parking. And, if an automaker partners up with a service provider — or creates its own — there’s still money flowing back to the offices of Big Auto. Win-win, no?

The growing trend is hard to ignore, and it means that automakers — already new to the game — face ever greater competition, even from unlikely sources. The latest company to offer a ride-sharing service isn’t a manufacturer at all. It’s the American Automobile Association. (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2017

lynk-and-co-model-02

Unlike the majority of Chinese automakers looking to the West, Lynk & Co seemed well-poised to bring a physical product to America — even though it had a share-based business model and a distribution plan that seemed counterintuitive. However, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has announced that it is delaying Lynk & Co’s product launch for Europe and the United States.

The reasoning behind the stall revolves around that unconventional distribution model, which initially involves online ordering and at-home deliveries. Zhejiang Geely now feels that Lynk needs more time to cultivate a company-owned dealership network.  (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2017

2017 Audi A4 Ultra

Today’s car rental services span the gamut in terms of vehicular offerings and price, but it used to be a more utilitarian affair. Granted, the norm is still to hop online and click the little box next to economy or compact with those full-size sedans reserved for when your employer is footing the bill. However, special discounts or a base Mitsubishi Mirage occasionally make SUVs and even premium cars too tempting to pass up. For those with more discerning tastes, there are entire agencies devoted to specialty cars.

Silvercar is a rental firm that allows customers to charter an Audi A4 similarly to how you would reserve a ZipCar — log in, schedule a pickup, and remotely unlock the vehicle for as long you need access. It’s akin to BMW’s ReachNow, General Motors’ Maven, and Mercedes’ Car2Go — that latter of which is finally replacing its fleet of Smart cars with Benz-branded vehicles. But Audi doesn’t actually own Silvercar, it just happens to be a company providing the exact service that every single automaker wants to include as part of an updated mobility identity. Oh, and it exclusively rents out A4s.

Obviously, Audi is purchasing it. (Read More…)

By on March 3, 2017

Chevrolet Tahoe overlooking a city

As urban populations grow and analysts continue to predict dwindling car ownership, alternatives have sprung up and automakers are gradually getting in on that sweet car-sharing action. Currently active in 17 North American cities, General Motors’ hourly ride-sharing unit Maven has been building slowly.

GM is now expanding Maven to include long-term rentals which, come to think of it, sounds identical to what it was doing with its Book by Cadillac premium subscription service. While the Caddy offering is intended to be a monthly subscription serving as an alternative to normal vehicle ownership, nothing is really stopping customers from using “Maven Reserve” in a similar manner.

Also similar is the pricing. While the special Maven Reserve vehicles don’t yet encompass all GM’s fleet, a Chevrolet Tahoe runs $1,500 for 28 days, which is identical to the subscription fee for Cadillac Book, which also includes curbside car delivery and mid-month vehicle swapping.

In essence, GM is allowing you to have simultaneous access to a CTS-V and Escalade or a Tahoe for the same amount of money.  (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2017

2006 Peugeot 908 RC Concept

A report released by PSA Groupe, maker of Citroën and Peugeot vehicles, details the first part of a 10-year plan to reintroduce PSA brands into the North American market, starting in the United States this week!

So, how do you feel about mobility solutions?

(Read More…)

By on February 12, 2017

MAVEN APP

While Ford is currently the domestic automaker making the biggest push into in mobility services — which seem to entail practically anything outside of traditional manufacturing and distribution — it isn’t the only company preparing itself for an era of declining vehicle ownership. FCA has partnered with Waymo to develop a fleet of self-driving Pacificas and General Motors has a personal mobility brand, called Maven, that acts as a car-sharing service.

While it isn’t quite so technologically advanced as autonomous vehicles or automotive A.I., Maven provides additional revenue immediately and furnishes GM with a unique opportunity to cope with some of the ownership problems of tomorrow. Car-sharing is good way for GM to profit from people who don’t own cars, but it’s also a clever method of getting young urban drivers to spend money on becoming more familiar with their product — especially on the coasts where import brands tend to outsell their domestic counterparts. (Read More…)

By on January 6, 2017

Cadillac ATS-V.

If you’ve ever found yourself buying someone a $10,000 handbag or worrying that not enough of your clothing is made from cashmere or silk, you’ll want to know that Cadillac will let you “subscribe” to its cars for a tidy monthly sum of $1,500.

“Book” by Cadillac is a $500 app that lets you select the most premium offerings from the brand and have it delivered to your door. However, you’re not leasing or purchasing a vehicle from General Motors’ flagship brand — you’re just borrowing one. Cadillac is touting this as some sort of transformative, fancy-free way to own a car. Still, it doesn’t actually alleviate most of the problems associated with car ownership, especially not in the urban markets it plans to test the service in.  (Read More…)

By on December 15, 2016

Car2go

Bitter rivals Daimler AG and BMW are planning to combine their car-sharing services —Car2Go and DriveNow — to compete with North America’s Uber car service. The two must be desperate to make headway into the world of vehicle ownership alternatives if they are willing to cooperate on the project.

BMW famously avoided a Daimler-Benz takeover in 1959 by convincing nearly every employee to invest back into the company, thus avoiding both bankruptcy and being forced to join with their main competitor. More recently, Daimler offered BMW employees free admission to the Mercedes-Benz Museum for BMW’s 100th birthday, where they could learn “the complete history of the automobile.” (Read More…)

By on September 19, 2016

2015 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ

Yoyo believes, like other mobility disruptors, that the traditional automobile acquisition and ownership experience is broken. It maintains that the majority of consumers can be provided with more flexible, efficient, lower-cost alternatives to the incumbent model of personal mobility. However, the prevailing two-step distribution system is entrenched and the insurance, maintenance, parking, and other segments of the $2 trillion extended auto industry are not incentivized to embrace change.

Will Yoyo’s pay-per-mile subscription model participate in disrupting the calcified status quo? (Read More…)

By on January 21, 2016

Barack Obama + Connected Vehicles

President Barack Obama ran a victory lap in Detroit because the bailout worked.

That, GM’s Maven goes beyond “The Tipping Point,” the ignition switch trial takes a turn for the weird, and more Obama … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2016

Ford Credit Link

A pilot initiative will be launched next month in Austin, Texas, where small groups can join forces and lease a new Ford together. Only available at three select dealers for now, the 24-month lease will likely operate much like Zipcar or Car2Go, but on a much smaller, private scale.

A new app will allow between three and six close friends to share payment responsibilities, as well as locate and schedule the use of the car.

(Read More…)

By on January 4, 2016

General Motors President Dan Ammann (center) with Lyft Inc. co-f

General Motors announced Monday that it would invest $500 million in ride-sharing service Lyft to help boost the automaker’s business in car-sharing companies and perhaps rental cars.

The automaker announced that the investment — roughly half of Lyft’s latest round of fundraising — would buy the automaker seat on the ride-sharing company’s board of directors. Lyft, which is based in San Francisco, is valued around $4.5 billion, which is significantly less than the $62 billion valuation for rival Uber, according to the New York Times.

GM said the companies would partner on rentals for the car-sharing company, connectivity and autonomous technology.

(Read More…)

By on September 2, 2015

Vincent Bollore with his Bluecars in Paris

BlueIndy, the nation’s first electric car sharing service, launched in Indianapolis on Wednesday, according to Time, but with controversy.

The car service, which uses Bollore Group electric cars, has met initial opposition with the Indianapolis City Council, who’ve taken aim at the mayor who launched the project with Bollore — whose other EV car-sharing cities include Paris and London.

The cars shouldn’t be parked in downtown spots, council members say.

“The mayor needs to understand that even though this is one of his pet projects, he is not above the law,” City council member Zach Adamson, told WXIN.  (Read More…)

By on August 11, 2015

Enterprise CarShare and Nissan

Nissan and Enterprise CarShare announced Tuesday a plan to equip 90 colleges and universities in the United States exclusively with Nissan cars for students to move, haul, travel (and barf in the backseat) for $5 an hour until Dec. 31.

Presumably, the college experience includes familiarity with the Versa Note’s hand-crank windows and will ultimately feed into Nissan’s College Grad sales program.

(I’d like to say the whole thing will be wildly ineffectual, but while typing away on my Mac this morning the first basis for reference I could think of was my elementary school’s beige Apple crapboxes in the 1980s. On that basis: It’ll work, Nissan.) 

(Read More…)

By on July 6, 2015

Car2Go in Seattle

Police in Denver say suspects in a drive-by shooting in January may have rented several Smart Fortwos under fake names to use in connection with their crimes.

The Denver Post is reporting that in affidavits filed by detectives investigating the Jan. 4 shooting, Denver police asked the car-sharing company for GPS data from the cars when investigators learned multiple cars were rented with bogus names.

Surveillance camera footage from a nearby business showed the vehicles near the shooting at the time the crime was committed.

(Read More…)

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States