It appears that General Motors is switching from four wheels to two, as the Detroit automaker announced Friday that it's launching its own eBike brand. More importantly, it's willing to pay someone up to $10,000 to come up with a name for it because it hasn't been able to pick one on its own.
GM is asking customers to pick a name by submitting suggestions through a dedicated website. The person responsible for the selected brand name will win $10,000, and nine runners-up will get $1,000 each. The contest runs through Nov. 26 and GM will announce the winner in early 2019. According to a statement released by the company, GM plans on unveiling two eBikes initially, one standard and one folding, but that's all that's known so far.
GM isn't the first automaker to get involved with bicycles. Ford lends its name to a bike-sharing service operated by Lyft-owned Motivate, and several automakers have pasted their names and logos on bikes as a branding exercise. However, GM claims its eBikes are a product of the same engineering process as its cars.
"We blended electrification engineering know-how, design talents, and automotive-grade testing with great minds from the bike industry to create our eBikes," Hannah Parish, director of General Motors Urban Mobility Solutions, said in a statement.
GM did not have many details to offer about how it would market its new eBikes. The company will not discuss plans for a bike-sharing service, which seems like a more likely outlet than individual sales, given the recent explosion in popularity of bike sharing and rival Ford's involvement.
Like many automakers, GM is trying to diversify beyond car sales. The automaker already has its Maven brand, which operates car-sharing services and offers rentals to drivers working for Uber, Lyft, and other companies in the so-called "Gig Economy." GM Marketplace, which allows drivers to purchase things like gas or food from their dashboards, is the first real manifestation of the much-discussed concept of monetizing car connectivity.
So, what will your name submission be?