6:00 pm EST – The Detroit News: NAIAS – The Final Word

General Motors’ Maven car-sharing unit is an important arena for the automaker not only to explore and innovate mobility services but also is becoming an important business in its own right, Julia Steyn, who heads Maven for GM, said in an AutoMobili-D presentation at the 2017 North American International Auto Show today.

In a discussion moderated by Daniel Howes, columnist and associate business editor for the Detroit News, Steyn said that after just a year or so in business, GM decided that Maven “is not just a mobility experiment; we can truly build a business. We’re now serving 8,000 residents al over the country.”

Among other reasons to believe that Maven is a business with strong potential rather than simply a skunk works, Steyn said, is that “we see the rise of the gig economy, especially with the young workforce who want to work flexible hours” – and so are prime customers for Maven.

And as far as building a startup-type company in Detroit, and under the wing of GM – neither of which have great reputations for fostering that sort of thing – Steyn was enthusiastic.

“It’s extremely easy” to recruit the right talent to Maven from anywhere, she told Howes. “People are proud to be part of Detroit. The auto industry is on the cusp of merging technology with the real assets that the automotive industry has created. There’s no more exciting industry on the planet.”