GM's Maven is a Sneaky Way to Get Urban Millennials to Try the Company's Vehicles
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.
“[Maven] left me with a much better impression of GM cars,” Parker Day told Automotive News. “I had never really thought that much about GM cars, or really American cars. But it seems like they’ve gotten much better. They drive nice, they have heated seats and they get good gas mileage.”
Day is a 28-year-old technology consultant in San Francisco who may someday need to own a car, and GM wants it to be one from its fleet. Using the service has allowed him to spend time with the Cruze and Malibu in what is essentially a series of extended test drives.
Julia Steyn, Maven’s head officer, said she’s running a profitable business operation but is also aware that a large portion of the service is the potential to steer customers toward dealerships. “This is additive to the core business. The whole company is now looking at this as a portfolio of opportunities to provide our customers,” Steyn told Automotive News at last month’s Detroit auto show. “If Maven customers are at the stage when they would like to buy a vehicle, we definitely have an opportunity to help them with that.”
Maven’s membership is a far cry away form the typical GM customer of today. Steyn claimed that 78 percent are between ages 18 and 36. The average user is 30 and possesses plenty of disposable income. Launched just over a year ago, the car-sharing service has drawn in 23,000 users and expanded to 17 North American markets.
With that success in mind, Cadillac also tried its hand at a premium vehicle subscription service that it calls “Book.” However, that project has gotten off to rocky start and received some fairly harsh criticism.
[Image: General Motors]
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- ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
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