General Motors’ Maven vehicle mobility brand is now renting vehicles to Lyft and Uber drivers. But the partnerships with the ride hailing firms are not so much about recording new car deliveries as they are about boosting residual values of used cars.
That’s because GM is supplying nearly-new, used vehicles that have come off lease or fleet duty to ride-sharing firms, thereby providing an important secondary market for those cars. Traditionally, these vehicles would end up going to used car lots, driving down residual values in the process. In the long term, such a scenario ends up harming a brand.
“This is a very exciting new channel for us,” said Julia Steyn, GM vice president of Urban Mobility. “[Maven] grew very fast in the United States because of the demand from drivers who drive on the ride-sharing networks. It allows us to significantly optimize our residual values and how we turn the vehicles in the market.”
GM-Maven’s recently-struck deal with Uber is similar to the one it has with Lyft. Called Express Drive, the program provides access to vehicles for drivers who want to drive for Lyft but don’t have access to a car. Hence, they can rent a vehicle from GM, which includes insurance and maintenance. Under the program, a Chevrolet Cruze sedan costs $135 a week to rent, while a Chevy Equinox crossover is $239. The rates are subsidized by Lyft based on the number of rides a driver delivers each week. Drivers who drive on a full-time basis could theoretically pay nothing for their vehicle.
With the Uber pilot program, drivers can lease a Chevy Cruze, Malibu, or Trax for $179 per week. The fee includes insurance, maintenance, taxes and fees. Compared to the program with Lyft, the biggest difference with the program is that there is no additional fee if a driver uses the vehicle for personal use.
“This is the latest in our efforts to provide driver partners with greater flexibility and more options to access vehicles in a way that works for them. This partnership with Maven combines our vast ride-sharing network with GM’s extensive fleet vehicles and gives people without access to a car the ability to easily make money driving on the Uber platform,” said Rachel Holt, Regional General Manager, Uber U.S. and Canada.