Car Culture

GM's Maven will trim its areas of operation by almost half, report says

If you're a Maven user in places like Chicago or Boston, sounds like you'd better start looking for a new car-sharing service.

GM's car-sharing platform Maven is still kicking, but it's about to undergo a dramatic tightening of the belt.

General Motors

Did you know General Motors' car-sharing play, Maven, operates in 17 different cities and areas? Or, rather, it does now but won't for long. You see, the word around the campfire -- according to an article published Monday by the Wall Street Journal -- is that GM will shut down operations in 8 of those 17 locales.

Why would GM do that? Well, the fact that a sizable portion of you likely had to Google what Maven was after reading that first paragraph is a good reason. There are some areas where there isn't enough demand for car-sharing or enough people willing to offer their cars for use by the service to make doing business there feasible. This includes Chicago and Boston.

Other areas like Los Angeles, Detroit, Washington and Toronto are seeing Maven increase its market share, so things will continue there and likely be expanded in those markets.

"Maven, GM's startup in future mobility services, will continue to offer customers innovative solutions in urban mobility -- Maven Car Sharing and Maven Gig," said a Maven representative, in a statement. "We're shifting Maven's offerings to concentrate on markets such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, in which we have strong current demand and growth potential."

Just in case you are still wondering what Maven is, it's kind of a bunch of different things, including a cross between Turo and Zipcar, where owners of specific model GM cars can let other people rent their vehicles through an app.

In other cases, people can rent cars owned by GM through Maven for up to 35 days at a time to be used as ride-hailing vehicles -- think Uber or Lyft. There are also just Maven-owned cars parked in places that will charge by the hour like Zipcar.

Whether this trimming of operations means a reduction in the types of services offered is unclear at this time, but it seems like a real possibility.