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Maven car sharing to shut down

The Maven experiment has failed, with GM announcing the global closure of its car sharing business.

One of the pioneers of the automotive industry-led car sharing movement, Maven, will be closed down by its parent company General Motors.

Maven was originally established in 2016, with a view to offer customers the chance to drive new GM products, with weekly subscription rates available to users. Should they choose, participants could also use their vehicles for car-share services under a Maven Gig profile.

Maven launched in Australia under Holden stewardship in October 2018, offering potential customers the chance to rent, for example, a Holden Trax small SUV for $225 a week, with unlimited kilometres and full roadside assist and servicing, not to mention insurance included. Those users could also opt into Maven Gig, whereby they could use their rental vehicle to earn money with ride-sharing platforms such as Uber.

But the decision to shut down Maven in 2020 did not coincide with GM’s move to close Holden. It was a global readjustment, one that was spurred on by the COVID-19 outbreak, with operations having been suspended in March.

“We’ve gained extremely valuable insights from operating our own car-sharing business,” GM vice-president Pamela Fletcher is quoted as saying in reports. “Our learnings and developments from Maven will go on to benefit and accelerate the growth of other areas of GM business.”

It is understood that GM CEO Mary Barra - who has taken a far from sentimental approach to parts of the business that aren’t pulling their weight - decided to shed the Maven program as it looks to protect its core business. An email reportedly sent to users illustrated this point:

“After critically looking at our business, the industry, and what’s going with COVID-19, we have made the tough but necessary decision to wind down our business.”

In Australia, GM had already announced to its users that it was planning to close by the end of 2020. The company last reported more than 6000 active members in Australia, with more than 2300 Holdens being used as part of the program.