Want to work for Uber but don't have a car? GM will rent you one.

General Motors already rents cars to Lyft drivers. Now, the automaker is making a similar offer to people who want to work for Lyft's biggest competitor, Uber.

Toby Melville/Reuters/File
A photo illustration shows the Uber app logo displayed on a mobile phone.

Well, this is weird.

Earlier this year, General Motors invested $500 million in ride-sharing service Lyft. Two months later, GM said that it would rent cars to prospective Lyft drivers for cheap--in some cases, even for free.

Now, the automaker is making a similar offer to people who want to work for Lyft's biggest competitor, Uber--at least for short periods of time.

The cars up for grabs will be provided by Maven, GM's Zipcar-ish car-sharing subsidiary. Registered Uber drivers can rent cars from Maven's fleet of GM vehicles for $179 per week, which includes insurance and unlimited mileage. Renters are free to use the vehicles for personal use when they're not Ubering complete strangers around town.

The program will begin as a 90-day pilot in--where else?--San Francisco, featuring Chevrolet models like the Cruze, Malibu, and Trax.

Our take

For GM, this Maven/Uber partnership could be a big win. The automaker is essentially offering extended test drives in GM vehicles, and we'd be truly surprised if renters weren't offered some kind of break should they choose to purchase the rides they've been borrowing. In other words, not only does this new program broaden GM's portfolio of mobility offerings by strengthening the Maven network, but it could also boost conventional sales.

For consumers--especially those who live in urban areas with abundant ride-sharing options--this could also be a great thing. It will almost certainly pump more vehicles into the Uber network, which means service will be even speedier.

For Uber and Lyft drivers, the news isn't quite so stellar. It will boost competition for passengers and almost certainly reduce drivers' income. (Then again, we can't say that drivers' prospects were too rosy even before GM's announcement.)

And for Lyft, the news may be worst of all. We haven't read the company's agreement with GM, but we have a hunch that Lyft signed on the dotted line because it believed that doing so would give it a significant leg-up in Lyft's battle against Uber. GM hasn't reneged on its agreement, per se, but its allegiance to Lyft doesn't seem quite as firm as it once did. 

This story originally appeared on The Car Connection.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Want to work for Uber but don't have a car? GM will rent you one.
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today