General Motors' CEO, Mary Barra, has been pushing the auto-maker as the car company for the future with focuses on autonomous technology, electric vehicles, and shared mobility.
For GM, its new Maven car-sharing division had provided high hopes for moving into a business model beyond manufacturing and selling gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. Now the company is closing down Maven in eight cities to make up for cash lost in the process.
Maven is considered a car-sharing brand with much potential for competing with Avis’ Zipcar and Daimler’s Car2go market leaders. Its owner had expanded Maven to 17 metro markets in the US and Canada since the beginning of 2016. Last week, the message took a turn, with GM announcing a “shift in strategy” that included closing stores in eight US cities to shift focus on other areas with "the strongest current demand and growth potential," the company said.
GM has even more interest in autonomous, electric vehicles in the future and providing ride services through a business unit — such as Maven customers having access to autonomous Chevrolet Bolt electric cars. But these mobility services are still way off in the future. For now, selling cars, trucks, SUVs, and crossovers with internal combustion engines is the profit center.
In the first quarter of this year, GM reported vehicle sales being down 7 percent over the Q1 2018. The global auto giant was pleased to tell shareholders that it had higher-than-expected profits during the first three months of 2019, through cutting costs and selling more expensive trucks, SUVs, and crossover vehicles. Sales of trucks, SUVs, and crossovers made up about 80 percent of its sales.
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