Maven Might Expand Dealership Pilot Program

Maven, the mobility unit owned and operated by General Motors Co., may be looking into expanding its dealership pilot program, in addition to recent reports that it is considering a rideshare service.

Maven — initially launched as an app-based short-term rental service for General Motors Co. in 2016 — began a pilot program last year with Michigan-based Suburban Chevrolet of Ann Arbor. The dealership owns five Maven-owned vehicles and shares revenue with the carshare service when the vehicles are used by Maven consumers, according to a published report.

The dealership had “fairly reasonable success” with the pilot by promoting it to customers as an alternative option to sitting in the waiting room, Mike Mosser, general manager of the dealership, said in the report.

Back in June, Chuck Stevens, GM’s chief financial officer, indicated that the OEM was looking into utilizing its dealership network as fleet managers for autonomous vehicle services. However, neither GM nor Maven has publicly expressed any interest in turning the short-term rental service into a program with autonomous vehicles. In March, GM acquired autonomous tech startup Cruise Automation, which recently launched an internal autonomous ride-hailing startup for its employees in San Francisco.

Maven did not respond to a request for comment for this story, but a Maven spokesman previously told Auto Finance News that “Maven has no additional products or future plans to announce at this time.”

The idea of using dealerships for fleet management is not that wild, Cameron Krueger, managing director at Deloitte Consulting, told AFN. Dealers are an important part of the ecosystem and are not going away,; they are instead expanding into different areas of mobility consumption, he added.

“The dealer sells and finances, but they also have space and knowledge, so why not become a fleet operator?” he said. “They easily could in the new mobility ecosystem. The cars have a place to park and be repaired and [dealerships] have brand loyalty.”

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