Economy

GM planning peer-to-peer auto rental

GM planning peer-to-peer auto rental

General Motors is reportedly planing to launch a car-sharing program inside of its existing Maven program, that will function similarly to how home rentals work with Airbnb.

After GM's stock stagnated for years as investors fretted over peaking vehicle sales and Silicon Valley's offensive on the auto industry, the shares rose to a record high in October last year as its self-driving vehicle plans and services like Maven gained traction with investors.

The program would apparently be only open to GM owners, and the company would take a piece of the revenue. Year-to-date, GM has declined -6.35%, versus a 3.64% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

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Unlike ride-sharing and ride-hailing services, Bloomberg reports the latest service would allow GM owners to rent out their vehicles when they aren't needed. Maven Gig also rents out vehicles to those driving for gig purposes, such as Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. By launching a peer-to-peer service, Maven would get access to more vehicles without its parent having to carry more hard assets on its balance sheet. This isn't the first entry into the peer-to-peer auto market as startups like Turo and Getaround have been around for a few years but they are dwarfed in size by GM. The most important is how much the service would cost and how much vehicle owners could expect to make. While GM is running Maven, the company is looking to expand the service. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also expressed interest in the idea which he believes will "dramatically [lower] the true cost of ownership to the point where nearly anyone could own a Tesla".

As GM looks to grow its Maven unit, it's plowing ahead with self-driving at its Cruise Automation unit in San Francisco.