GM Wants to Rent Your Car

General Motors Planning Airbnb-like Program

General Motors Planning Airbnb-like Program

The tests will begin in early summer through GM's Maven car-sharing unit, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't public. In response, GM continues to look towards innovative ways to stay in the game, including the launching of an Airbnb-like service for vehicle owners. Under the pilot program, owners of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles who sign up will be able to rent their cars to other drivers.

Maven has already expanded its offerings since its 2016 launch, with implementations such as the Gig tool for ride-hailing drivers to rent or lease GM cars. Year-to-date, GM has declined -6.35%, versus a 3.64% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

Up to this point, GM has owned those cars.

The program would apparently be only open to GM owners, and the company would take a piece of the revenue.

The Bloomberg report notes that by launching a peer-to-peer service, Maven would get access to more vehicles without its parent having to carry more assets on its balance sheet.

Peer-to-peer businesses could make more sense than car-sharing services that require owning and maintaining vehicles, said Alexandre Marian, a director in the automotive and industrial practice at consultancy AlixPartners LLP.

Although other start-ups are involved in peer-to-peer auto rental, analysts say carmakers are well placed due to their huge networks of vehicle owners. While startups like Turo and Getaround do exist in this space, no existing companies has the clout or resources or reach of GM. 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".

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