Opel is expected to launch US-based mobility service Maven in Germany during 2017 as part of a pan-European expansion plan.
The service, operated by General Motors in the US, will launch as ‘Maven home’ and offer car-sharing vehicles to hotels, apartments and student residences.
According to Automobilwoche, the car-sharing fleet will offer the Vauxhall Adam and Ampera-e electric vehicle (EV).
Maven will enter an increasingly crowded market in Europe. Services from rival manufacturers include Daimler’s car2go, which has more than 2 million members and BMW/Sixt-owned DriveNow, which has more than 600,000 registered users.
DriveNow recently reported that car-sharing schemes are beginning to generate a profit as they grow to meet the changing mobility needs of consumers.
The brand sees average vehicle utilisation of two to five hours per day. This is up to five times the typical use of a private car, with car-sharing customers normally requiring vehicles for 20-40 minutes per rental.
There is intense competition in some major cities. For example, in Madrid, car2go competes with Avancar (Zipcar), Bluemove/ Cochele, Clickcar and Respiro.
Therefore, Maven will have to focus on the unique elements of its service, which may include access to the OnStar connected car service that is being introduced throughout Europe.
In addition to a consumer offering, Opel also wants to trial Maven Pro, General Motors’ corporate car-sharing service.
Initially, Opel will trial the service at its own headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Germany, before rolling it out to corporate customers.
There are also plans to offer vehicle hire services to drivers who work for ride-hailing companies such as Uber or Lyft.
In the US, Maven is successfully renting used vehicles to self-employed drivers in response to large increases in vehicle demand in the ride-hailing sector.
In Chicago alone, 60,000 people applied to drive on the Lyft platform who did not have a car that qualified.
In Europe, drivers for brands such as Uber access cars through a number of car rental partners that only offer new cars.
Maven has been available in the US since the start of 2016 and is already available in 15 cities.
As part of the strategic focus on Maven, Opel is expected to break its ties to sharing platform CarUnity.
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