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GM Launches New Car-Sharing Service Maven

Move follows big investments in ride-sharing firms Lyft, Sidecar.

by on Jan.21, 2016

A motorist uses a smartphone to line-up a short-term rental from the new Maven service.

General Motors apparently hopes to become an industry maven when it comes to alternative mobility programs. After investing in two ride-sharing services, Lyft and Sidecar, this month, the Detroit automaker says it will start a new car-sharing company called Maven – a Yiddish word for “expert.”

GM is just one of a growing number of automakers who are looking for alternative ways to appeal to potential customers at a time when younger consumers seem less interested in owning a vehicle. Both Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz brand and Ford Motor Co. are making similar forays, Ford CEO Mark Fields saying his goal is to transform the smaller Detroit maker into a “mobility” company.

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“With the launch of our car-sharing service through Maven, the strategic alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft, and building on our decades of leadership in vehicle connectivity through OnStar, we are uniquely positioned to provide the personalized mobility services our customers expect today and in the future,” GM President Dan Ammann said.


Carsharing Could Become Big Business for Daimler, Says CEO

Mercedes’ parent sees global opportunity to supplement conventional car, truck sales.

by on Apr.12, 2013

A Smart car in Berlin, part of Daimler's car2go carsharing service.

After so-so sales during the first quarter, Daimler AG has deferred making any kind of prediction on its first quarter profits from its core automobile and truck business.

However, while Daimler declined to offer revised income and sales forecasts, CEO Dieter Zetsche did tout the success of the company’s fledgling carsharing service, which going forward will serve as the anchor for a new business unit that could bring in as much as $100 million in revenue next year.

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“We see great potential in the expansion of our business operations in the area of innovative mobility services,” Zetsche said. “The car2go (service) made us the world’s fastest-growing provider of carsharing services. In fact, the number of car2go customers has increased roughly fivefold since January 2012. Altogether we have more than 300,000 customers in 18 major cities in Europe and North America,” he noted this week.


car2go Makes It Official

Can the Smart car-based program transform urban mobility?

by on May.20, 2010

car2go hopes to revolutionize urban mobility, starting with a program in Austin, Texas.

Can a small car like he Smart fortwo make a big change in urban transportation?  That’s what the new Daimler AG venture, car2go, is betting on.

The project, which has been operating in pilot mode for several years, is ready to roll out in full business mode, on Friday, in Austin, Texas.  Company officials say they’re already looking at expansion opportunities in as many as 100 cities in North America and Europe. (See Car Sharing Meets Austin City Limits)

On the surface, car2go could be dismissed as just another way to rent a car – in this case the pint-sized Smart fortwo 2-seater.  But the idea behind the venture, which first went into testing in the German city of Ulm, in 2008, is to both supplement users of mass transit and provide the occasional set of wheels for urban dwellers who might not own a vehicle of their own, company officials explained during a news conference in Austin, on Thursday.

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The Texas capital has served as a test sight for the U.S. market, car2goNA partnering with the city government and signing on a small group of other residents to test the concept.