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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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!
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.
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.
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…)
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.)
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.
That moment you realize the oldest car in the parking lot is yours.
Yeah, I just had that moment.
The car in question is a 2001 Honda Accord EX. Four-door. Five-speed. A dodo bird of a used car stuck in today’s finance driven market. I walked around the parking lot you see above trying to find one vehicle, any vehicle, that’s as old as mine.
The blue ’05-ish Caravan on the bottom left came a bit close, but it didn’t happen. Instead, everything else seemed to be on the younger side of the curve, the overwhelming majority of vehicles sold new at a later time in history.
BMW’s i3’s success is helped by a number of government incentives in a few of the automaker’s key markets, according to CEO Norbert Reithofer.
EV consumers in France and beyond needn’t wait months for a Tesla Model S, thanks to Vincent Bollore’s Autolib service and Bluecar EVs.
Part of the automobile’s future may be linked to concerns of safety, fuel efficiency and the environment, but connected- and autonomous-vehicle technologies, among other disruptors, look to flip the table on the century-old game as the 21st World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems gets underway this week in Detroit.
Germany-based rental car company Sixt SE announced its DriveNow car-sharing venture with BMW has exceeded expectations, with profits to match.