An Experiment in Error? Maven Bites the Dust, GM Lauds 'Insights' Gained

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
an experiment in error maven bites the dust gm lauds 8216 insights gained

The great General Motors ride-sharing experiment is over. At least for now. Maven, which hit parking lots in 2016 and eventually expanded into the nation’s driveways, was GM’s attempt to put its vehicles to work, rather than sell them to retail or fleet customers like some kind of dinosaur.

For a fee, users could access the GM-owned fleet of Maven products to perform random driving tasks. Short trips, mainly, in the absence of an Uber or Lyft ride or participation in a more formal car-sharing agreement. Tap that app, find the car, unlock it, and drive off. Abandon somewhere after you’re done.

Well, that’s what GM just did with Maven.

As reported by The Verge, the company sent out notices to users on Tuesday notifying them of the “immediate” suspension of the Maven experiment.

“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 automaker wrote to its customers.

Maven services went offline in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but today’s message confirms a permanent cancellation. GM’s efforts to insert Maven services into various American and Canadian cities came as the automaker explored new revenue streams in the dawning (and dazzlingly promising) Age of Mobility. Thing is, the windfalls promised by such business models have, for the most part, failed to materialize. Maven was not a money maker.

Despite the service’s expansion into other pilot projects, last year brought suggestions of trouble ahead.

In January 2019, Jill Steyn, who oversaw the launch and guided Maven through its first two-plus years, abruptly left the company. Before Steyn’s departure, the service had branched out with Maven Gig, a rental service providing vehicles to rideshare and delivery drivers. In 2018 came peer-to-peer carsharing, allowing owners of newer GM vehicles to earn money by renting out their rides to Maven customers. That service ultimately expanded to 10 cities.

Shortly before her departure, Steyn spoke of adding non-GM vehicles to the service.

Taking over from Steyn in February 2019 was Sigal Cordeiro, a 19-year GM veteran who formerly served as executive director of global product marketing for the automaker’s overseas GEM vehicle platform. Nothing new emerged from Maven after that point.

Partway through last year, Maven announced it was pulling its services from several large U.S. cities, among them New York City, Chicago, and Boston, signalling that the experiment may have gone as far as it could. The pandemic seems to have been the final straw.

In a statement published by The Verge, Pamela Fletcher, GM’s vice president of global innovation, said, “We’ve gained extremely valuable insights from operating our own car-sharing business.”

“Our learnings and developments from Maven will go on to benefit and accelerate the growth of other areas of GM business.”

General Motors would now like to have a word with you about the zero-percent/84-month financing available to eligible buyers.

[Image: General Motors]

Comments
Join the conversation
4 of 31 comments
  • Wow this place is full of some super unintelligent douchebags. It's like clique central for rtards and morons. Great job TTAC, you've done a great job killing this site!

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Apr 23, 2020

    I've been kinda considering a used Chevy Bolt EV. Recently, a metric buttload of them appeared all at once on the market in California -- only a year or two old and at bargain prices. But on closer inspection, they all had 100,000 miles and scratched-up rear door panels. Now it makes sense. My guess is, those are the Maven Gig cars. Maven Gig, GM's lease-by-the-day program, was very popular with rideshare drivers -- every Chevy Bolt EV they had in greater L.A. was reserved again the moment it reappeared on the map. Incidentally, they all seemed to have wound up at the faux-upscale lots that pepper California's Inland Empire. These lots peddle late-model cars at utterly irresistible prices. The catch is a) an accident history, disclosed or not, b) very high miles for the year, c) an undisclosed $3000 dealer fee that they try to hide in the paperwork, or d) all of the above. Word to the wise: avoid any place with Warehouse, Wholesale, or Direct in the name...it's a scam.

    • R Henry R Henry on Apr 23, 2020

      Any and all used vehicle purchases must be approached with great caution. I beleive the 7-day no questions asked return policy pioneered by CarMax needs to become SOP for all dealerships.

  • ToolGuy VW (marque not group) and Tesla very nearly switched positions on a YTD basis.
  • RHD Inexpensive gasoline appears to be a thing of the past. ILO is correct - we have enough sunlight, wind and emerging ocean wave energy to power the entire country and then some. Clean air is nice, and being free of the whims of OPEC, geopolitics and hugely profitable oil companies will do all of us a world of good.
  • Raymond Segura Can you tell me where I can get the rear bumper for 69 impala?
  • Art Vandelay some of the crazy numbers I get. Percentages look bigger with any fluctuations with low volume makes and brands leaving the market will see massive month over month changes. But what’s with Buick? I still see the occasional ad on TV and yet the drop is disproportionate even compared to all the other GM brands.
  • Master Baiter "There is no mandate for consumers to buy EVs, not in any country or state. That’s made up."Right. And you are not mandated to purchase a toilet that only uses 1.6 gallons/flush. You could choose to not have a toilet--just go in the woods, like the bears do.
Next