Another one of GM’s brilliant ideas has failed. This time, though, it’s not one of their models getting the right engine at the wrong time — it’s tech. Tech that no one wanted or used. CNBC reports that GM’s in-vehicle Marketplace app will be killed off next month because no one was using it.
Introduced in 2017, GM’s Marketplace app made its way into millions of GM vehicles with one singular purpose: to give people their time back. Executives hoped that since lots of people were always on the go in their vehicles, they’d use the marketplace to make their lives easier. Ordering coffee while on the commute from to work from Dunkin, or finding the cheapest gas prices to fill up on from Shell — stuff like that. Per CNBC in 2017:
The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving,” said Santiago Chamorro, vice president for global connected customer experience at GM. “We have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back.
The app was mostly full of food and gas station apps featuring places like Wingstop, T.G.I. Fridays and Mobil. But people didn’t use it as GM had hoped. GM sent notice to owners of vehicles equipped with the app that the marketplace would go away in March. While GM didn’t give specific numbers as to how many people actually used the app, it was described as “thousands out of millions of vehicles.”
So why didn’t anyone use the app? For one, no one really wanted anything like it in their vehicle. I covered a 2021 study late last year, and it showed that most drivers weren’t even interested in using in-car tech like this. Over 60 percent of drivers said they never used in car digital marketplaces with over 50 percent saying they didn’t have a need for it.
Aside from it being useless, if you were one of the few people that did use it, it sucked. I used the GM Marketplace app a few years back in a GMC Acadia I had as a rental. It didn’t work as intended. For one, if you’re in a hurry, there’s a chance that whatever you’re ordering won’t make it to the restaurant, since the app relies on the vehicle’s wifi signal, which sucks and doesn’t have a good connection. There’s also the reality of Apple CarPlay, which isn’t as gimmicky and does the same thing but better. For instance, if the Dunkin’ app is installed on your phone, you can order Dunkin’ through Apple CarPlay. It’s way easier.
Marketplace was a dumb idea, so farewell. I hope we don’t see anything like it ever again.