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As more ride-sharing and car-sharing options become available, are more people leaning away from owning a car?

A Lyft car drives along Powell Street on June 12, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
A Lyft car drives along Powell Street on June 12, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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GM announced yesterday (Jan 20) the launch of its new car-sharing service, Maven, on the heels of its $500 million investment in ride-sharing service Lyft, and acquisition of the assets and technology of out-of-business Uber rival, Sidecar.

GM’s president Dan Ammann said that the company sees “changes in consumer behavior and we see significant opportunity as that changes occurs. We want to make sure we’re at the forefront of this.”

Analysts see this as a means for GM to place a stake in the future where more people’s transportation habits are shifting. Mother Jones has even released an article on self-parking cars, and a study from the University of Michigan found that fewer Americans are getting drivers licenses.

What are the latest consumer trends in ride-sharing and vehicle ownership? What is the role of technology (apps, the emergence of autonomous vehicles) in shifting preferences? How are other car makers re-aligning their assets to adapt to this change? Or are low gas prices enticing more people to purchase a car? As the WSJ reported, US car sales jumped to a record high last year. Conversely, the publication also reported that millenials may not become car buyers.


Michelle Krebs, Senior analyst for

Jeremy Carlson, Senior Analyst, Automotive Technology, IHS, a marketing research firm