Competition in Car-Sharing: A Different Kind of Car Race for GM


Mar. 29 2016, Updated 6:04 a.m. ET

Car-sharing business

Previously, in this series, we looked at how General Motors (GM) plans to benefit from its strategic alliance with Lyft. However, General Motors is not the only automaker to realize the potential of the car-sharing business.

In this part, we’ll look at some other major automakers that have entered the car-sharing business and could pose competition for GM. We’ll also take a close look at the Express Drive program.

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GM’s Express Drive program

On March 15, 2016, General Motors and Lyft launched a program called Express Drive. In this program, General Motors will provide flexible and affordable weekly rental options to Lyft drivers.

Express Drive will enable Lyft drivers to rent a car from GM with a starting cost of $99 per week, including insurance and maintenance. According to GM, if the driver completes 65 rides within a week, the driver will be able to use the vehicle at no weekly rental cost.

This service will first be available just in Chicago. GM and Lyft plan to expand this service to other major US metro areas throughout 2016. They plan to cover US cities such as Boston, Washington, DC, and Baltimore.

Competition in the car-sharing business

Daimler’s (DDAIF) subsidiary car2go is the largest car-sharing service provider in the world. Services of car2go are currently limited to North America and Europe. It could be seen as the biggest competition for GM’s ambitious car-sharing program, along with Uber and Zipcar.

Volkswagen (VLKAY), the world’s second-largest automaker, also has a presence in the car-sharing business with its Quicar services. When we see the potential of the car-sharing business, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if other automakers (VCR) such as Ford (F) and Toyota (TM) jumped into the competition. It will be interesting to see if General Motors can make a mark in this business by differentiating its services from others.


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