General Motors is preparing to launch its own peer-to-peer car exchange service this summer, according to Bloomberg. Car owners can list and rent their own personal automobiles when they are not using them, as do Airbnb users with their homes and apartments. It is another sign that the automotive industry is exploring new companies, as it seeks to isolate itself from changes in vehicle ownership models.
The new peer-to-peer rental service would be launched by Maven, GM's vehicle sharing division, which is available in 10 cities across the US. UU Maven rents automobiles that he owns to users in the short term. It also has a secondary business called Maven Gig, through which it lends vehicles to people who want to earn money driving for hail companies like Uber or Lyft, or delivery services like Instacart.
"At Maven, we are always considering new and innovative ways to facilitate the exchange," a spokesperson said in a statement. "We have no plans to announce at this time."
"We have no plans to announce at this time"
By launching a peer-to-peer service, GM would be competing with startups such as Turo and Getaround that allow people to include their personal cars for rent. But unlike those companies, GM is a global giant with a market value of almost $ 53 billion.
That said, a peer-to-peer service is not an obvious option for GM. One could argue that the strengths of the automaker – its insight into manufacturing, its aftermarket and its dealership network – are not necessarily applicable here.
For Airbnb-for-cars to succeed, GM will need a reliable technology platform where people feel comfortable listing their cars, and where customers feel safe renting these vehicles. Some customers who have used Maven have complained that the user experience may be confusing, while the application may be a bit slow. Other users have discovered that the cars available in Maven are dirty. The company's service in San Francisco has 1.5 stars on Yelp, based on 30 reviews.
GM is likely to be intrigued by business prospects. Turo, which claims around 4 million users in more than 5,000 cities in North America and Europe, says it attracts travelers because they can find short-term car rentals that are cheaper than their corporate counterparts. The company has raised money from Daimler AG and currently has a value of $ 700 million. Getaround raised $ 45 million last April, with Toyota among the companies buying.