General Motors (GM) is shuttering its Maven carsharing service four years after it launched.
Signs that the app-based service was in trouble came almost a year ago when Maven pulled out of eight of the 17 North American cities where it operated, including New York, Boston, and Chicago. It remained operational in cities such as Los Angeles, Detroit, and Toronto, and Washington, D.C., but now the entire service will be closed down.
The coronavirus pandemic has proved the final straw for the service, with car use recently falling through the floor as people stay home in a bid to slow the spread of the condition, formally known as COVID-19.
In an email seen by The Verge, Maven told its customers on Tuesday: “After critically looking at our business, the industry, and what’s going on with COVID-19, we have made the tough but necessary decision to wind down our business.”
Maven’s assets and resources will become the property of GM’s Global Innovation organization, a GM spokesperson confirmed. The company had around 50 employees, with many expected to be offered positions with the automaker.
Maven competed with the likes of Zipcar and Car2Go, offering folks in urban areas a variety of GM vehicles at hourly and daily rates. Digital Trends took the service for a spin in 2018.
Recent data for Maven is hard to come by, but as of the summer of 2018, the GM-owned business had just over 145,000 people signed up to its service, with more than 290 million miles driven.
When the company scaled back operations last year, it said it was doing so in order to “concentrate on markets in which we have the strongest current demand and growth potential.” But it hasn’t worked out.
Commenting on the closure, Pamela Fletcher, GM vice president of global innovation, said: “We’ve gained extremely valuable insights from operating our own car-sharing business.” The executive added: “Our learnings and developments from Maven will go on to benefit and accelerate the growth of other areas of GM business.”
Digital Trends has reached out to GM for further comment on the closure of Maven and we will update this article when we hear back.
In the meantime, Digital Trends has some great suggestions for alternative app-based carsharing services.
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