GM Joins Car-Sharing Fray in China
The investment in Yi Wei Xing may be a signal that the automaker is likely looking to bring its Maven car-sharing brand to China
General Motors Corp’s investment in a Chinese car-sharing application developer demonstrates the auto maker’s keen interest in the world’s largest auto and car-sharing market, observers said.
GM on Wednesday declined to reveal the size of its investment in Yi Wei Xing (Beijing) Technology Co Ltd, which developed Feezu, a car-rental and car-sharing app that merges hardware and software and enables users to rent vehicles by the minute, hour or day.
“It is GM’s first investment in a startup in China related to urban mobility,” a company spokeswoman told Reuters. “This cooperation is very important to our company to explore the ride-sharing market in China.”
“Only time will tell if this move is significant, but it shows that GM is paying close attention to the Chinese market,” said Eric Dennis of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in an email.
The investment and strategic alliance will leverage Yi Wei Xing’s technical offering, and are in line with GM’s drive to explore new car-sharing models, gain insights into China’s rapidly changing car-sharing market and develop a deep understanding of Chinese consumers’ personal mobility needs.
The equity investment follows GM’s global strategy of redefining the future of personal mobility. GM launched its car-sharing service brand Maven in January 2016. Maven’s mission is to give consumers access to highly personalized, on-demand mobility services. It expanded its services to five markets in less than four months in the U.S. after its launch. ChinaDailyNews