GM intends to pilot a new program for peer-to-peer car rentals beginning this summer. The service would let General Motors become a new rival to companies such as Getaround and Turo.
Airbnb for Cars
General Motors Co. intends to test out a new program that would let car owners rent their vehicles to other drivers. This would allow other people to rent the cars when the owners don’t need them.
The pilot will launch early this summer. It will operate through the Maven car sharing unit at GM, said sources quoted by Bloomberg. The sources have remained anonymous as General Motors has yet to make an official announcement regarding its program.
In this program GM vehicle owners would be able to add their cars to the Maven platform. From there, other drivers would be able to rent them for a fee split between the vehicle owner and GM.
GM’s New Direction
If the pilot proves successful, GM intends to attempt to turn this program into a full scale business. This could represent yet another move made by the company in transitioning away from being an automaker and toward being a mobility provider.
The company had been watching its stock stagnating for many years. Investors are now becoming increasingly concerned over peaking car sales. Further worries are arising as the tech industry increasingly encroaches on traditional automaker territory.
In October, GM’s shares rose to record levels as it proceeded in directions toward self-driving cars and services such as Maven. Investors found this new angle for the automaker to be highly appealing.
By the time this article was written, the company continued to decline the opportunity to comment on its pilot.
GM’s Maven Unit
Maven is already a vehicle rental unit at GM. It rents cars to individual drivers. These include motorists with short-term car needs. Another branch of the business, Maven Gig, rents vehicles to rideshare drivers for companies such as Uber, Lyft and meal delivery businesses.
That said, General Motors owns the vehicles being driven in those circumstances. The new pilot program involves renting cars owned by individuals. Maven would function as a service that would pair the individuals who own the cars with those who want to rent them.