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General Motor's Pulling Maven out of Eight Cities

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【Summary】Maven, which is a mobility brand that’s run by General Motors, is ceasing operations in eight major cities in the U.S. Major cities that will see the service come to an end include Chicago and New York.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    May 27, 2019 4:00 PM PT
General Motor's Pulling Maven out of Eight Cities

Car-sharing services are the next big thing, as automakers rapidly come out with mobility brands that give members the flexibility of getting a car when they need one, but not having to deal with the hassle of owning one. General Motors' Maven was one of the first car-sharing platforms on the market and has expanded to have a wide reach in recent times. While Maven had a lot going for it, GM will reportedly cease operations in numerous U.S. cities.

Maven's Closing Shop In Eight Cities

According to Automotive News, GM is closing the door on Maven in eight of the 17 cities where the mobility company operates. A few of the eight cities include Chicago, New York City, and Boston. The outlet claims that a spokeswoman cited a "shift in strategy" as the sole purpose for the decision to pull out of specific markets.

Maven will continue to operate in some cities, including Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. "We're shifting Maven's offerings to concentrate on markets in which we have the strongest current demand and growth potential," a spokesperson told The Verge.

The news becomes a little more complicated, as Maven isn't completely disappearing, as the major mobility company has another arm, Maven Gig. That company is all about providing members with short-term leases for use in ride-hailing and delivery services. As Auto News points out, some cities will see Maven Gig shut down and Maven continue, while other cities will see the opposite occur. Then, there's the chance that both will stop running.

What's Been Going On At Maven?

This is the first major shake-up at Maven since Julia Steyn, the former head of Maven and GM Urban Mobility, left the company at the beginning of this year. Steyn was at the head of Maven since the company was created in 2016. Maven first came out was a rental company to go head to head with Car2Go and ZipCar. Since coming out, Maven has expanded with a few other arms. Maven Gig is one of them, while the other was a car-sharing service that mimicked Airbnb with cars.

GM was also using Maven as a way to test its future technology. The company became its prime guinea pig to test connected-car technology and autonomous vehicles. Maven was one a large part of GM's future.

"We see the emergence of car share and ride sharing, in general, as much of an opportunity for GM than it is a threat," said Dan Ammann back in 2016 when Maven was launched. "The thing that really changes between a shared model and a car-owner model is that the car is used in a much more efficient way. Now, cars are idled 95, 96 percent of the time. Utilization in shared can go up quite dramatically, and that makes the economics good for the customer and the company."

It's unclear whether GM will revive Maven after a few years with a new game plan or introduce a completely new company that takes on ride- and car-sharing services in another manner.

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