Is there money in the Airbnb model for the automakers?

The decline of Maven can be read as a cautionary tale for automakers interested in the peer-to-peer rental market, but experimentation is necessary. By Xavier Boucherat

Launched in 2016 as a car-sharing service, GM’s Maven would later introduce a peer-to-peer rental option, allowing owners to loan out their vehicles by the hour. It was made available in a number of the 17 US cities which, at its height, Maven operated in. The 2019 decision to withdraw from eight of these locations suggested trouble. Initially, there was a suggestion that the move was part of a shift to a more profitable, asset-light business. Speaking with The Drive, a source familiar with the matter told author Edward Niedermeyer that the company was prioritising peer-to-peer rentals and Maven Gig, a short-term rental service for ride-hailing drivers, over more ‘traditional’ car-sharing, which required the company to own the asset.

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